BNP leader excluded from Trinity

Nick Griffin (via Wikimedia Commons)

In case you were wondering what happened with Nick Griffin. This article appeared in Sin on October 25 2011. 

Controversial far-right leader Nick Griffin has been excluded from a debate in Trinity College Dublin.

Mr Griffin, leader of the British National Party, was due to speak on the motion “The House Believes Immigration Has Gone Too Far” on October 20. However, on Friday 14, the invitation from the Trinity Philosophical Society withdrew the invitation. The debate itself was also cancelled.

A spokesperson for the Phil cited security issues as the reason behind the rescinding of Griffin’s invitation. In an official statement, The Phil insisted that a sit-in by a small number of anti-fascist activists was not the reason behind the cancellation. “However, the nature and tone of the incident crystallized for council the correctness of the resolution to cancel the debate, due to the seriousness of the potential threat to the safety of students and staff”, the statement read.

As well as the withdrawal of Mr Griffin’s invitation, the Phil warned Mr Griffin and other members of the BNP that they would not be allowed on campus.

The decision to invite Mr Griffin was extremely controversial. Groups such as the Union of Jewish Students, Students against Fascism and Trinity against Fascism had all spoken out against the visit of Nick Griffin. The Trinity LGBT group were among those opposing; in a statement on their website the society said it wished to “express its disquiet” at the “worrying and dangerous [views of Nick Griffin] due to their inflammatory language surrounding LGBT people as well as other minorities.”

As mentioned above, a sit-in protest was organised at the most recent Phil Society meeting. There was also to be protests at the debate itself.

It has been rumoured that Nick Griffin was on a reconnaissance trip to Ireland and that he wishes to set up an Irish wing of the BNP. Speaking to the University Times, BNP member Simon Darby said that the BNP would love to set up an organisation in the Republic of Ireland. “There is nothing I would like to see more than an Irish National Party representing the interests of the Irish people,” he said.

It has been a bad week for Nick Griffin. As well as being declared a persona non grata by Trinity, he has also been accused of corruption by a member of his own party. David Hannam, a former treasurer, alleged in an interview with BBC’s Panorama that Mr Griffin inflated and fabricated costs in order to claim high expenses from the European Parliament. Mr Hannam died earlier this month and the interview was shown in accordance with the wishes of his family.

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