The Holocaust, Ku Klux Klan, and other claims put to the test

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Indy Politics

"I do not have a conviction for Holocaust denial"

The BNP leader does not have a conviction for Holocaust denial because there is no such offence in English law. What he does have is a conviction in 1998 for inciting racial hatred by writing articles in The Rune magazine in which he denied the Holocaust and praised the Waffen SS.

He was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, and fined £2,300. While in the witness box, Mr Griffin told the court: "I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that six million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also once held that the world is flat."

"I say that Churchill would belong in the British National Party because no other party would have him, [given] what he said in the early days of mass immigration into this country ... that 'they're only coming for our benefits system'."

The Churchill Archives at Cambridge University said yesterday it could find no such quotation. In reality, when he was a young MP, Churchill opposed an attempt to impose an Aliens Act, restricting immigration to Britain, saying he saw no need for such a measure. As Home Secretary, he championed naturalisation laws that would give British citizenship to all subjects of the Empire. Allen Packwood, director of the archives, said: "It is absolutely wrong to say that if he was around today, Churchill's political home would be the BNP. His natural instincts on social issues were often liberal. His criticism of Hitler's race and religious laws is well documented."

"My father was in the RAF during the Second World War while Mr Straw's father was in prison for refusing to fight Adolf Hitler."

Mr Straw has made no secret of the fact that his father, Walter, was jailed as a conscientious objector in 1939. His parents – an insurance salesman and a nursery school teacher – were pacifists who met in the Peace Pledge Union. Griffin has not always been so proud of the RAF. In 1996, he accused British airmen of "mass murder" in the bombing of Nazi Germany.

"I have brought the BNP from being, frankly, an anti-semitic and racist organisation into being the only political party which, in the clashes between Israel and Gaza, stood full square behind Israel's right to deal with Hamas terrorists."

After his conviction for inciting racial hatred in 1998, Mr Griffin described Lord Carlile QC, the local MP who made the initial complaint, as "that bloody Jew". When asked in June this year if a black Welshman would be allowed to join the party, which is being forced by the Government's equality watchdog to allow black and ethnic minority members, Mr Griffin said: "There is no such thing as a black Welshman.... Our party acts for the indigenous people of these islands."

"(Islam) treats women as second-class citizens, it says that a woman victim of rape should be stoned to death for adultery ... it ordains as a religious duty the murder of Jews as well as other non-muslims."

An eminent Islamic scholar told The Independent that Mr Griffin's depiction of the tenets of Muslim faith and the Koran was misleading and offensive. Professor Abdel Haleem, director of the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of London, said the Koran gave equal standing to women and contained "absolutely nothing" about stoning a rape victim to death. On the suggestion of a religious duty to murder Jews, Prof Haleem said: "This is an outrageous lie. There is nothing in the Koran that says anything like this."

"The indigenous people of this island are the English, the Scots, the Irish and the Welsh ... colour is irrelevant, it's the people who have been here overwhelmingly for the last 17,000 years. We are the aborigines here."

The latest research suggests the first people to colonise the British Isles were from the Iberian Peninsula and neither Anglo-Saxons nor Celts have had much impact on the genetics of inhabitants of the British Isles. Geneticists have also found evidence that African soldiers and slaves arrived in Britain during the Roman empire and inter-married with the population, meaning Britain's black population pre-dates the arrival of Christianity.

"Our immigration policy is supported by 84 per cent of the British people at present"

Mr Griffin appears to be referring to a poll conducted for The Sun last month which found 84 per cent of people were worried the UK population would reach 70 million by 2028. The poll asked no questions about compulsory repatriation of illegal immigrants or "reversing the tide of non-white immigration", as espoused by the BNP.

"I shared a platform with David Duke, who was once a member of the Ku Klux Klan, an almost totally non-violent one by the way... David Duke detests where I stand, he regards me as a sellout."

David Duke is a convicted fraudster and former Grand Wizard of the KKK. In his autobiography, he states "whites" should "work for the establishment of a separate homeland for African Americans". His website plugs an interview with the BNP leader, which it describes as "inspiring" and says the two men as sharing ideas which garner "tremendous support" among Europeans.

"It's time to shut the door because the country is overcrowded. Criminals and bogus asylum seekers should be deported. Everyone else can stay."

BNP policy is to forcibly repatriate around two million people who it claims are in Britain illegally and offer a financial inducement for "those of foreign descent" to leave the UK, regardless of whether or not they were born and raised here. The BNP's constitution is committed to "restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white make-up of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948".

"I cannot explain why I used to say those things (on the Holocaust)... I can't tell you the extent to which I've changed my mind, because [of] European law. Unfortunately, the French courts and the German courts would not recognise that freedom."

The Ministry of Justice said yesterday that an individual outlining why they no longer denied the Holocaust could not constitute an offence. French and German legislation outlaws Holocaust denial within the jurisdiction of those countries.

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