UK Politics

BNP wiped out in European elections

Leader of the BNP Nick Griffin after losing his seat during the European Parliamentary elections count at Manchester town hall Image copyright PA
Image caption BNP leader Nick Griffin said UKIP was now the party of protest in the UK

The British National Party has been wiped out in the European elections despite a surge of support for far-right parties across the continent.

Party leader Nick Griffin lost his seat representing the North West of England.

Mr Griffin vowed the party would "be back" and support for UKIP, which topped the polls, would "crumble" as people realised they could not deliver.

Ahead of the election count, anti-BNP demonstrators clashed with police outside Manchester town hall.

The BNP finished with 1.14% of votes, down from more than 6% in the last European elections in 2009.

The result five years ago saw the BNP win two seats in the European Parliament for the first time, as well as three local council seats - in Lancashire, Leicestershire and Hertfordshire respectively.

It had already been reduced to one European seat after Andrew Brons, who was elected as a BNP MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber in 2009, left the party and became an independent.

This time around, the BNP lost its deposits in each of the nine English regions and Wales where it stood after it got less than 2.5% of the vote.

It got fewer votes than An Independence From Europe - an anti-EU party only set up in November.

As he arrived at the count in Manchester, Mr Griffin had to dodge missiles, including placards, that were thrown at him from protestors chanting "Nazi scum".

A number of scuffles broke out between protestors and the police.

Following the announcement of the election result, newly-elected Labour MEP Theresa Griffin said: "No longer can a racist, fascist party claim to represent the interests of the people of the North West."

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Media captionProtesters chanted "Nazi scum" as candidates arrived for the count

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.

His defeat comes amid a surge of support for far right, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic political parties elsewhere in Europe.

In France, the National Front led by Marine Le Pen has caused what the country's prime minister Manuel Valls has called a "political earthquake" topping the poll with 26% of the popular vote.

French president Francois Hollande has called an emergency meeting of his ministers on Monday following the election result.

In the Netherlands, the anti-Islam, Eurosceptic Dutch Freedom Party of Geert Wilders' - which plans to forge an alliance with Le Pen's National Front - finished joint second in terms of European Parliament seats behind a pro-European centrist opposition party.

And Denmark's anti-immigration far right People's Party looked on course to top the poll with an estimated 23% and the extreme-right Jobbik, widely accused of racism and anti-Semitism, was running second in Hungary with 15%.

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