MEP refuses to sit next to BNP leader Nick Griffin
On the day that BNP MEPs Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons took up their seats in the European Parliament, a Democratic Unionist MEP refused to sit next to them.
Diane Dodds refused to take up her seat next to the pair, who were just one row behind David Cameron’s new bloc in the parliament.
Griffin, whose party believes homosexuality should be kept “private”, then alleged that civil servants had been told to him and Brons differently by withholding acess to certain information.
He also told the Times he had been snubbed by Baroness Kinnock, who is planning to host a reception for new MEPs tomorrow.
Griffin said: “I would not want to share a drink with Glenys Kinnock. She is a political prostitute, simple as that. She and her husband started off their careers as anti-common market and now they are there not just with their noses in the trough, they are in the trough.”
Conserative leader in Europe Timothy Kirkhope said that although he was unhappy about their presence, he respected the fact they were democratically voted in.
He said: “They were elected by the people in Britain so I respect the fact that they are in the chamber. If they are elected they have every right to be here. But I do not feel comfortable because I think they used a political vacuum largely created by the Labour Party and what they say is anathema to me.”
Foreign secretary David Miliband has drawn up new guidelines stating the BNP should be “kept at arms length”.
A government spokeswoman confirmed: “Officials will not engage in any other contact with elected representatives of any nationality who represent extremist or racist views, unless specific permission has been granted to do so on a particular occasion.”
Related topics: Europe