22 July 2010 (Evening Standard)
The Queen today barred BNP leader Nick Griffin from her garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The far-Right politician, his wife and daughter were due to be among 8,000 guests this afternoon but, at the last-minute, Palace aides announced that he would be banned for using his invitation for “party political purposes”.
A statement issued on behalf of the Queen said: “Nick Griffin MEP will be denied entry to today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace due to the fact he has overtly used his personal invitation for party political purposes through the media. This in turn has increased the security threat and the potential discomfort to the many other guests also attending.”
A Palace spokesman added: “The decision to deny him entry is not intended to show any disrespect to the democratic process by which the invitation was issued. However, we would apply the same rules to anyone who tried to blatantly politicise their attendance in this way.”
Mr Griffin immediately condemned the decision, claiming it was a reaction to pressure from the coalition Government. He said: “I’m appalled. It’s an outrage and thoroughly anti-British.
“If there are rules about going as a political representative, we have to be told about them. I was told what to wear, where to go, but nothing about this.
“Another BNP MEP, Andrew Brons, has given interviews talking about his invitation and he’s still being allowed to go.” He said he did not “blame the Queen” and claimed Buckingham
Palace was under “enormous pressure from the Lib-Con coalition” to withdraw his invitation.
Anti-fascists welcomed the decision. John Mann MP, chairman of the Commons all-party group against anti-semitism, said: “I fully support the Palace’s actions — Griffin has once again proved he is an embarrassment to his constituents and to our country.”
Mr Griffin was set to attend a garden party last year as a guest of a BNP London Assembly member but pulled out after an outcry.
Downing Street said: “It was entirely a matter for the Royal Household. The Government was not involved.”
BNP chief nominated himself for party
Nick Griffin was able to nominate himself to attend the party using the ticket allocation granted to the European Parliament.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said all British MEPs are entitled to go and invitations are issued as matter of course when an application is received.
Last year Richard Barnbrook of the BNP received two tickets for a Palace garden party in his capacity as a member of the London Assembly.
He selected Mr Griffin as his guest but the BNP leader pulled out, saying he had “no wish to embarrass the Queen”.
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