UK Politics

What now for Nick Griffin?

Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nick Griffin, left, with Andrew Brons after being elected to the European Parliament in 2009

Why the fuss over the internal machinations of a party which has no MPs, no MEPs - and which polls suggest commands the support of about one per cent of voters?

Well, for many people Nick Griffin was the BNP, and his personal - and his party's - fortunes appeared intertwined.

He was its leader for 15 controversial years, in which he saw off criminal charges of racial hatred, and, for a moment, looked like he was on the verge of a breakthrough for a far-right leader.

There was the prospect of becoming a British Jean-Marie Le Pen.

In 2009 he and his then colleague Andrew Brons were elected to the European Parliament on an anti-immigration platform.

I was in Manchester Town Hall when the result of his election as an MEP for North West England was declared - he was surrounded by a large entourage which proceeded triumphantly through the building as he was being criticised from the podium by the other parties' candidates - including UKIP.

He later blamed that party for contributing to the BNP's electoral decline when it transpired that 2009 wasn't a turning point, but the high point, in his party's fortunes.

2014 hasn't been a good year for Nick Griffin.

He lost his seat in the European Parliament, was declared bankrupt, replaced as party leader and has now been expelled from the party.

He says he will not '"resort to the BBC gutter" to air his grievances - the members will sort it all out, he says.

But a political comeback looks like a very tall order.

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