Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Europe

British National Party wins second European Parliament seat

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-08

The far-right British National Party has won two seats in the European Parliament, in a major breakthrough for a party reviled by mainstream politicians for its anti-immigration stance.

AFP - The far-right British National Party on Monday won its first seats in the European Parliament, in a major breakthrough for a party reviled by mainstream politicians for its anti-immigration stance.

Party chairman Nick Griffin was elected an MEP in the northwest of England region with eight percent of the vote, hours after Andrew Brons won the BNP's first ever European seat in the nearby Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Both seats were at the expense of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party, which suffered a devastating result across the country.

Griffin had earlier hailed Brons' win -- with almost 10 percent of the vote -- as "a huge breakthrough" for his party, and used the victory to reiterate his party's anti-immigration and anti-Islam stance.

He denied his party was racist, but said: "We do say this country is full up. The key thing is to shut the door."

Griffin told Sky News television: "This is a Christian country and Islam is not welcome, because Islam and Christianity, Islam and democracy, Islam and women's rights do not mix.

"That's a simple fact that the elites of Europe are going to have to get their heads round and deal with over the next few years."

The result is a vindication of efforts by Griffin, who was educated at the prestigious Cambridge University, to recast the party since taking over in 1999, emphasising its grassroots activism over extreme-right ideology.

Amid concerns about soaring unemployment and a deep recession and in particular the demise of British manufacturing, the BNP has pledged British jobs for British workers.

It is opposed to European integration and wants to pull Britain out of the European Union and halt all immigration to the country.

In recent weeks it has also capitalised on public anger over the row over lawmakers' expenses, which has severely damaged the reputation of parliament and the mainstream Labour and Conservative parties.

Health minister Andrew Burnham described the BNP's first MEP victory as a "sad moment", and following Griffin's success in the northwest, local Labour MP Tony Lloyd said he was ashamed at how some people had voted.

"I am genuinely not just disappointed, I think it is a matter of shame, this country has a deserved reputation for a tolerant society," said Lloyd, the Labour MP for Manchester Central.

"Their (the BNP) vision for Britain is a nightmare for Britain. I think many people will wake up with some sense of shame."

Government ministers and the Conservative party had sought to remind voters of the BNP's policies, which include calls for the immediate halt to all immigration to Britain and the "voluntary resettlement" of all immigrants.
 

Date created : 2009-06-08

COMMENT(S)