Leader of British National Party to quit in 2013

24th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Far-right British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin is to quit by the end of 2013 to make way for someone with less political "baggage", he said after a recent election blow.

The announcement on his website came after Griffin, who regularly attracts protests over his party's policies, suffered an embarrassing defeat in parliamentary and local elections earlier this month.

By 2013 "I would have been leader of the BNP for 15 years and that is long enough," he said in a statement on the BNP website late Sunday, after a meeting of the party's key figures.

"It will be time to make way for a younger person who does not have any baggage which can be used against the party."

Griffin had promised a "political earthquake" in elections earlier this month but in the end the party failed in its goal to get elected to parliament and lost all 12 of its council seats in a London stronghold.

Although they tripled their vote share compared with the 2005 elections, the BNP's failure to secure more seats will likely have intensified internal dissent about Griffin's leadership, according to commentators.

However, he is the only one in party with a national profile.

Griffin said he wanted to implement the last "building blocks" of his plan to build up the BNP as a well-organised political machine, which will take at least 18 months.

He would then step aside to focus on getting re-elected as a member of the European Parliament in 2014. He was one of two BNP MEPs elected last year.

© 2010 AFP

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