UK Politics

BNP conference: Protest greets Nick Griffin

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Media captionNick Griffin, said the BNP is "more popular than ever before"

About 30 people protested outside the British National Party's conference in Liverpool and barracked leader and MEP Nick Griffin as he arrived.

The protesters also shouted "fascist" and "Nazi scum" at party members who gathered at the Wavertree venue to discuss policy.

The anti-immigration party has struggled with debts, infighting and poor results in May's local elections.

But Mr Griffin praised "hard core" delegates for attending the conference.

The protest was organised by local councillors and the Liverpool Anti-Fascists group.

Liverpool City Council leader Joe Anderson, who spoke to Mr Griffin when he arrived, said afterwards: "(The BNP) don't speak on behalf of any significant number of people in the city. Every time the BNP stands here they are resoundingly beaten.

"Their negative, destructive policies are not wanted here."

Several police officers were stationed near the venue and at the end of an access road.

Merseyside Police described the protest as small and peaceful.

"Merseyside Police is committed to supporting the facilitation of legitimate political party conferences. The force recognises the right to demonstrate peacefully and will facilitate peaceful demonstration," a police spokeswoman said.

Speaking to about 70 people inside the venue, Mr Griffin, who represents the North West in the Euopean Parliament, described the protesters as "over-aged students".

"I'm the MEP because thousands of people voted for me because they appreciate the fact that the BNP talks about issues the other parties won't talk about," he said.

He called those present at the conference the "hard core" of the party.

"Here today are the people willing to travel, the ones willing to spend the whole weekend talking about policy," he said.

The delegates backed a motion supporting quantitative easing.

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