20 July 2009

Teenager explains BNP attack

The teenager who hurled a drink over British National Party leader Nick Griffin said he wanted him to know people will not tolerate his views. The 18-year-old, from Stroud, caught a taxi to the Falcon Inn in Painswick because he wanted to make his point peacefully but forcefully with Mr Griffin.

"I have a serious objection to the BNP," he said. "I had intended go and confront him verbally and say my piece to him. Something needs to be done wherever he goes. While I was outside, he was leaving the pub and I was not comfortable with him visiting the area without getting a taste of people's feelings towards him."

He said he left the pub on July 11 after an argument with another of Mr Griffin's party. While waiting outside, the teen saw his chance as the BNP leader walked out of the front door.

"I left the pub voluntarily because after having a conversation with one member of the party – I was sworn at by some of his colleagues," said Ben, who did not want to be identified with his full name. I felt a bit intimidated – there were 20 of them. Nick Griffin came out and I decided to splash him with Guinness. I was swiftly put in a headlock by one of his security people. I was backing away and had my hands splayed out.

"They started taking me down the road, and I was worried about that. Then a member of staff from the Falcon came out and took me off the BNP security person and took me back in to the pub. Then I was asked to leave the pub via a different door."

But he said he was later spat on in the street and verbally abused by a member of the party in a car. He said he declined to make a formal complaint to the police, and excused the spitting incident, as he had thrown the drink, although not the glass, over Mr Griffin.

BNP spokesman John Walker said: "People have to start to realise now that they cannot go around taking liberties with a member of the European Parliament, whichever party they represent. We won't put up with it. It is not civilised behaviour. If he got duffed up, he was a victim of his own misfortune.

"Everyone has a legitimate outlet for their opinions at the ballot box. He was asked to leave the pub. He chose to wait outside and threw a pint of beer. Whatever happened after that, I have no sympathy for him."

Staff at the Falcon Inn declined to comment.

Last week, Gloucestershire police issued a statement regarding the incident confirming Ben did not want to make a formal complaint.

This is Gloucestershire

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