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BNP leader Nick Griffin to attend Queen’s summer garden party

PinkNews Staff Writer May 21, 2009
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BNP member Richard Barnbrook and party leader Nick Griffin are among the guests at a summer garden party to be hosted by the Queen.

Barnbrook was invited due to his position as a London Assembly member. He confirmed he would be attending with Griffin as his guest.

The invitation could not come at a better time for the party, who hope to capitalise on the recent expenses scandal to gain seats in the European Elections on June 4th.

A spokesman said yesterday: “Richard Barnbrook has got an official invite in his capacity as an elected member of the London Assembly and he is allowed to bring a guest, which will be Nick Griffin.

“For him to snub an invite from the Queen would be absurd.

“It is something people are going to have to get used as we become part of the establishment, especially if Nick is elected an MEP next month. This is the kind of thing we are going to be doing on a regular basis.

“As a party we are great supporters of the monarchy and Richard is looking forward to meeting the Queen.

“Nick wants to meet the royals as well. I would have thought he and Prince Philip would have a lot to say to each other. Prince Philip strikes me as a man who has an admirable sense of humour.”

Today, London mayor Boris Johnson said the party must be prevented from attending the event.

In a letter to Assembly chair Darren Johnson, he said Mr Griffin’s attendance threatens “a happy event” and that Barnbrook’s invitation should be cancelled if he does not choose another guest.

The mayor wrote: “We cannot tolerate any such abuse of the invitation or any potential embarrassment to Her Majesty.”

Darren Johnson said: “If there’s anything that we can do to stop the BNP hijacking this event, then we will do. Mr Barnbrook has a right to attend, but we do not want this to become a political event and we will do anything we can to stop what is proposed.”

Griffin has a criminal conviction for inciting racial hatred, something ant-fascism campaigners said should prevent him from being able to attend an event at the palace.

The Queen has no part in sending invitations, which are sent out out by the Lord Chamberlain’s office.

A spokesman for the London Assembly said that 12 double tickets were given to elected members each year.

He added: ‘It is our duty as officers not to distinguish between members on the basis of their political persuasion. Priority is given to those who have not attended a garden party at the Palace before.’

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