European election results 2014: BNP leader Nick Griffin loses seat, is heckled by protesters, and gets hit on the head by a BBC lamp
BNP chairman says voters flocked to Ukip as the new protest party of choice, but accused Nigel Farage's party of being "racist"
Nick Griffin’s tenure as an MEP came to a dramatic end last night after the British National Party (BNP) was ousted from European politics.
The former north-west MEP was heckled as he arrived at Manchester’s town hall last night, and was reportedly attacked by some protesters chanting “Nazi scum off our streets” and “Nick Griffin must go”.
And in a final humiliating blow, the BNP leader was hit on the head by a lamp being used for the BBC’s live election broadcast, according to the Manchester Evening News.
In a disastrous night for the far-right party, the BNP polled just 32,826 in the north-west – 1.87% of the overall vote, down on their 6.13% share in 2009.
As Mr Griffin conceded defeat, he said BNP supporters had voted for “Ukip’s racist policies instead”.
“I've lost count of the number I've spoken to who say, 'We really like the BNP but we are voting Ukip because there is more chance they will stop immigration and send them all home'," he told Sky News.
"As there is not a hope in hell of that, people are going to be very disappointed when they find out what Ukip really stands for and that huge vote is going to come back to us.”
Read more: Ukip top poll as Europe moves to right
Far-right parties flourish across Europe
Ukip sets target of 20 seats for 2015
Labour MPs call on Miliband to promise referendum
Calls for Lib Dem unity after calls for Clegg to go
Conservatives bid to ward off Ukip threat
Labour enjoyed gains in the north-west, reaping in a 33.86 per cent share of the vote – increasing their total of MEPs to three.
The left-wing party’s lead candidate Theresa Griffin congratulated voters on abandoning the “hate-driven policies of the BNP”.
But Mr Griffin vowed the party would bounce back from its failures, citing the sole electoral success of Brian Parker in the local elections in Marsden, Nelson Pendle.
Speaking after Sunday night's declaration, Mr Griffin said: "It has been a privilege to serve the people of the North West over the last five years.
"I hope the people who are elected take the responsibility seriously."
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