BNP chief claims Lawrence was bully

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The Independent Online

The British National Party leader, Nick Griffin, claimed the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence was a drug dealer who was "notorious for taxing the younger kids for their dinner money", during a speech designed to whip up racial hatred, a court heard.

Mr Griffin criticised the media for paying more attention to the Lawrence murder 11 years ago, than to the "recent" murders of white people and claimed that "many people within the Metropolitan Police [believe] he was killed by another black, not a white racist attack at all".

Mr Griffin's assertion was one of a number presented by the prosecution as testimony against him and a co-activist Mark Collett, 24, at Leeds Crown Court. Both deny charges of using words or behaviour intending to, or likely to, stir up racial hatred.

Mr Griffin went on to accuse the police of frequently setting up confrontations between the BNP and its opposition. "It's a choreographed con," he said.

In a speech at the Crossroads public house in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Mr Collett allegedly said that the only benefit from multiculturalism was "a few curries".

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.