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BNP's Griffin invite to Palace party

    Nick Griffin: Palace say he was eligible as an MEP
    Nick Griffin: Palace say he was eligible as an MEP

    An invitation to BNP leader Nick Griffin to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party has been met with outrage.

    As an MEP, Mr Griffin is entitled to tickets to one of the Queen's summer receptions.

    He told supporters he expects to attend a garden party on July 22 with his wife and two daughters.

    Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who defeated Mr Griffin at the general election, said: "It sickens me that Nick Griffin has used his position as an elected representative to secure an invitation to Buckingham Palace.

    "The best way to deal with the BNP is the way we dealt with them in Barking, which is to
    beat them at the ballot box."

    A Community Security Trust spokesman said: "The Queen is one of the few remaining figures in public life with a direct connection to the struggle against Hitler. It will therefore be hard for many Jews to envisage Nick Griffin attending the royal garden party."

    A Board of Deputies spokesman said: "Clearly, the Palace has been placed in an impossible position, needing to uphold the principles of democracy on one hand and facing up to the vulgar politics of hatred on the other.

    "While it is unfortunate that Nick Griffin's position entitles him to tickets, we do not consider that his attendance implies any sort of endorsement of his skewed ideology."

    A Palace spokesman said Mr Griffin was eligible as an MEP and the Palace would not discriminate against democratically elected representatives.

    Mrs Hodge said the defeat of the BNP in Barking was key to winning the
    confidence of her fellow MPs, who have elected her to head the government spending watchdog.

    Mrs Hodge will head the Public Accounts Committee, scrutinising spending at a time when budgets are being cut to reduce the deficit.

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