BNP leader Nick Griffin loses North West Euro seat

Labour party members celebrate in Manchester Labour supporters were jubilant to gain an extra seat in the North West

British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin lost his seat as both Labour and UKIP each secured three MEPs in the North West region.

Labour topped the poll with 594,063 votes, ahead of second-placed UKIP on 481,932.

The Conservative Party, which secured most votes in 2009, was beaten into third place and ended with two seats.

UKIP gained two seats and Labour, one. The Lib Dems' Chris Davies lost his seat, leaving the party with none.

The new MEPs are Theresa Griffin, Afzal Khan and Julie Ward (Labour), Louise Bours, Paul Nuttall and Steven Woolfe (UKIP) and Jacqueline Foster and Sajjad Karim (Conservatives).

Scuffles broke out as Mr Griffin arrived for the count at Manchester Town Hall, with protestors waving placards and shouting "Nazi scum".

He had to duck placards hurled at him and dodge attackers who broke through police barriers, with officers rugby-tackling some of them, before Mr Griffin was taken into the safety of the building.

'We'll be back'

Speaking after Sunday night's declaration he said: "It has been a privilege to serve the people of the North West over the last five years.

"I hope the people who are elected take the responsibility seriously."

Mr Griffin blamed UKIP for his electoral defeat telling Sky News they were now the protest party of choice.

"We're out tonight but we'll be back. We set the agenda, we're the ones who broke the taboo about immigration - we've allowed UKIP to do what they've done but when people see they don't deliver their votes will crumble," he said.

UKIP's Paul Nuttall (right) celebrates with other party members UKIP's Paul Nuttall (right) said the result meant the dawn of "four party politics"
Leader of the BNP Nick Griffin after losing his seat during the European Parliamentary elections count at Manchester City Hall The BNP leader lost his seat as his share of the vote in the North West fell
Nick Griffin's arrival at Manchester Town Hall There were scuffles and angry scenes as Nick Griffin arrived for the count

UKIP's deputy leader Mr Nuttall, speaking after the declaration, said: "People are rejecting the failed three old parties.

"They have given away something that was never theirs to give away, that's the sovereignty of our country.

"The age of four-party politics has arrived."

'Message of hate'

Labour's re-elected North West MEP Theresa Griffin said: "The BNP have left the building.

"I'm proud Labour has topped the poll in the North West region. Labour will always be on your side, fighting for jobs and growth."

Protesters chanted "Nazi scum" as candidates arrived for the count

Labour MEP Afzal Khan, who was Manchester's first Asian lord mayor in 2005, said he was "delighted" with his election victory at the expense of the BNP.

He said: "That was my aim, that is what I wanted to achieve. I think he's got a message of hate and this is a difficult time and we need a message of hope and the people of the North West have given a clear message.

"He's [Mr Griffin] done nothing for the people of the North West. His whole message was one of hate."

A poor night for the Liberal Democrats saw the party come in at fifth place in the North West - behind the Green Party.

But party president Tim Farron remained defiant, and praised his party for standing up to UKIP's Eurosceptic stance.

"Somebody had to have the backbone to stand up to UKIP and take them on," he said.

"I'm proud. I want to win elections, but I want us to do the right thing even more."

Seats in the European Parliament are allocated according to the D'Hondt system, a type of proportional representation.

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