The bodyguard of British National Party leader Nick Griffin has been arrested on suspicion of directing homophobic abuse at a woman near a party fundraiser in Merseyside.

Martin Reynolds, 46, was led away by officers outside a fundraising event in St Helens on Saturday evening.

Police were called just after 6pm following allegations that a man got out of his car and made abusive remarks.

Mr Reynolds was later arrested on suspicion of an aggravated public order offence that related to alleged homophobic remarks.

He has since been released without charge pending further inquiries.

In a statement posted on its website the British National Party said: “Clearly there is political harassment taking place in an attempt to stop our party from raising funds to fight in the Euro Elections.”

Nick Griffin posted messages on Twitter following the arrest.

One read: “Great response & meeting in St Helens. So police have arrested Martin Reynolds. Handcuffed and carted off.”

And another mentioned of Mr Reynolds’ release from custody.

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