Oxford Union's Nick Griffin invitation 'a mistake'

The Oxford Union has rescinded an invitation to Nick Griffin

The BNP leader had been sent a letter asking for him to take part in a debate this week titled: "This House Would be Glad to Have Gay Parents".

After news of the invitation emerged, it was condemned by both anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate and the Union of Jewish Students. But a spokesman for the Union said that the far-right MEP would not be taking part in the event.

"The invitation was sent by a junior member of the team," he said. "When we found out it was immediately rescinded. He was not intended to be invited."

One person who will be at the debate, arguing in support of the motion, is Benjamin Cohen, the journalist and founder of the Pink News.

Five years ago, the Union invited Holocaust denier David Irving and Mr Griffin to a debate on free speech, prompting a protest organised jointly by UJS and Oxford University's Islamic Society. More than 2,000 people demonstrated against the event and proceedings were disturbed but it still went ahead.

Last updated: 11:08pm, January 14 2013