Anti-immigration British party's leader wins first Europe seats

Griffin, standing in the Northwest of England region, was the second candidate of the anti-immigration party to be elected.

Anti-immigration British party's leader wins first Europe seats

The far-right British National Party, which campaigns for a halt to immigration and British withdrawal from the European Union, won its first seats in the European Parliament on Monday.

BNP leader Nick Griffin, one of the two party members elected, hailed the achievement as an "astounding earthquake in British politics".

Mainstream parties lamented the breakthrough made by a party they regard as racist.

"It's a sad moment for British politics," Health Secretary Andy Burnham said.

Anti-fascist protesters threw eggs at Griffin's car when he arrived at Manchester town hall in northern England for the vote count and he said a car window was smashed. Candidates from the major parties walked out when Griffin gave his victory speech.

Griffin was elected in the northwest region while BNP member Andrew Brons won another seat in the northern region of Yorkshire and Humber, where the party took 10 percent of the vote.

The seats were gained at the expense of the ruling Labour Party, which was abandoned by many voters angry at a scandal over politicians' expenses.

The party won a seat on London's elected assembly last year but had previously had no voice in the British or European parliaments. Sunday's result will allow it to get more publicity for its views and increased resources.

He said his priority in Brussels would be "to do as much as we can to delay the process of further European unification because it is taking away Britain's sovereignty and our freedom and our identity."

The party would oppose Turkey's entry into the EU, he said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Haziran 2009, 12:09