Nick Griffin

Nick Griffin (born 1959) is the National Chairman of the far-right British National Party (BNP).

Griffin was born in 1959 in north London and grew up in rural Suffolk, England. Griffin's mother, Jean, was the BNP candidate against Iain Duncan Smith in the 2001 Election. His father, Edgar, was (until August 2001, when he was expelled for being linked to the BNP) a member of the Conservative Party and a former Councilor. Griffin studied history, and then law at Cambridge University. Griffin dabbled in collegiate boxing while at Cambridge. He graduated with an honors degree in law.

Griffin got involved in political activities at the age of 15, when his father, Edgar, took him to meetings of the British National Front (NF). By 1978, Griffin was a national organizer for the NF, but left in 1989. After leaving the NF, Griffin formed his own group - the International Third Position. By 1991, that group ended due to financial problems.

In 1995, Griffin joined the BNP. Until he became National Chairman, Griffin edited the Spearhead, a publication owned by John Tyndall, the then party leader. He became National Chairman in 1999 by defeating John Tyndall. Since his election, Griffin has tried to transform the BNP into a mainstream political party through a policy of Euronationalism, copying tactics from European politicians such as Jörg Haider and Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Griffin has had his share of detractors though. He has been sometimes described as a Nazi and a fascist by his opponents, owing to his reputation. Griffin has met with David Duke and has praised Louis Farrakhan. In 1988, Griffin went to Libya (at Moammar Al Qadhafi's expense) to raise money, although it transpired that Qadhafi was really only looking for an outlet to distribute his "Little Green Book". In the past, Griffin has denied the holocaust, he attacked a fellow Holocaust revisionist, David Irving for admitting that some Jews died at the hands of the German state in the Second World War. He has also subscribed to Anti-Semitism in the past, claiming in a leaflet "who are the mind benders" that Jews dominate British media. In 1998, Griffin was convicted of stirring up racial hatred by giving out racist literature. This conviction has been cited by opponents as contradictory to Griffin's stance for "law & order".

In 1998, Griffin, along with Paul Ballard, was convicted of violating section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, which states that

"a person who publishes or distributes written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting and intends thereby to incite racial hatred, or, having regard to all the circumstances, racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby"

has contravened the criminal law. He received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was fined £2,300. The charge related to issue 12 of 'The Rune' magazine, of which Griffin was editor when published in 1996. The complaint regarding the magazine was made by Alex Carlisle, QC, who was the Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire at the time. He had asked the police to obtain him a copy of the magazine, which they did. After reading it, the MP called the police again and complained about its content, whereupon the police raided Griffin's home and charged him.

In June 2001, Griffin ran as a BNP candidate in the constituency of Oldham West & Royton and got 16% of the vote, beating the Liberal Democrats into fourth place and running a close race for second place with the Tories. After the result, Griffin was unsuprisingly accused of exploiting racial tensions in Oldham that resulted in riots that happened before the June 2001 vote. In May 2003, Griffin stood for election again in Oldham for a seat on the local council, although he was not elected.

Griffin lives in Mid Wales with his wife and four children.

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