British National Party expel ex-leader Nick Griffin

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

File photo of Nick Griffin in 2009.
Image: britishnationalism.

The British National Party (BNP), a UK political party, has expelled Nick Griffin, previously for fifteen years its leader. The party stated they informed Griffin of their decision yesterday and gave multiple reasons for the expulsion, including distributing inaccurate information, trying to damage the party's public image, harassment of staff members, and defying instructions given to him by current leader Adam Walker. Griffin has said he was "'expelled' without trial" and the BNP violated its constitution.

Only thing is that the ruling Wigton Soviet are operating outside the constitution so I shall ignore their plastic gangster games

Nick Griffin

Griffin was BNP chairman until July, when he quit the role and became honorary president; acting chairman Adam Walker took his place. Griffin was elected North West England MEP (Member of the European Parliament) in 2009 but lost the seat in the 2014 election.

Under Griffin's tenure, the party reportedly experienced an increase in success, gaining more than 50 councillors in the UK and two MEPs in 2009, Griffin being one and the other Andrew Brons. However, more recently the party has reportedly had monetary difficulties and internal disputes, as well as disagreements over what attitudes the party should adopt. Brons departed from the BNP in 2012 and went on to form his own political party, the British Democratic Party.

The BNP's political support has significantly declined in recent years; its percentage vote share in the European Parliament elections in North West England dipped from 6.1% in 2009 to 1.9% in 2014, while most of the party's councillors have lost their positions. Also, in January Nick Griffin was declared bankrupt.

"This has been a difficult decision to make and not one taken lightly", a member of a conduct committee within the BNP commented. "Although we all appreciate that Nick has achieved a lot for our Party in the past, we must also remember that the Party is bigger than any individual. Nick did not adjust well to being given the honourary title of President and it soon became obvious that he was unable to work as an equal member of the team and alarmingly his behaviour became more erratic and disruptive."

The conduct committee said they made their decision because of Griffin's behaviour, which included "preparing a ‘report’ which tells lies about key Party personnel and finances and approving the leak of these damaging and defamatory allegations onto the internet", "harassing members of BNP staff and in at least one case making physical threats", "bringing the Party into disrepute through public statements", "publishing, causing to be published or being reckless as to the publication of untrue allegations against the Party in the form of e-mails giving a false account of [his] bankruptcy situation" and "disobeying legitimate, constitutional instructions given to [him] by our Chairman, Adam Walker aimed at preventing damage to the reputation and unity of the Party."

Griffin's response to this expulsion from the party was to tweet: "Breaking news! I've just been 'expelled' without trial from the #BNP! That'll teach me to tell a member of staff he's a 'useless, lazy twat'". In a later tweet, he added: "Only thing is that the ruling Wigton Soviet are operating outside the constitution so I shall ignore their plastic gangster games."