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BNP leader 'will not be barred from Union debate'
9:50am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
BRITISH National Party chairman Nick Griffin will not be turned away if he tries to attend a debate about gay rights in Oxford tonight, despite having had his invitation to speak withdrawn.
Mr Griffin was originally invited to take part in the Oxford Union debate, but the invitation was revoked when it emerged the Union member who asked him did not have permission.
On Monday Mr Griffin, who is a Member of the European Parliament for North West England, tweeted: “If I get back from parliament I’ll go anyway.”
In response, Oxford Unit Against Fascism, city councillors and other campaigners signed an open letter, and yesterday called on the Union to bar him from entry.
They also called for a protest ahead of the meeting, which is due to debate the motion “this house would be glad to have gay parents” at 8.30pm.
Ian Mckendrick, secretary of Oxford Unite Against Fascism, said: “We have only had two days’ notice of the visit but support for our statement and protest is growing.
“We urge the Oxford Union to bar Nick Griffin from their debate on gay rights.”
But Oxford Union spokesman Alex Reut-Hobbs said that as a Cambridge University graduate, Mr Griffin was a ‘reciprocal member’ of the Union, so was entitled to attend debates.
He added: “Technically we wouldn’t be able to bar him admission if he did choose to come along. However, as with anyone else, if someone is causing a disturbance in the debate, then there is a policy that that person is asked to leave.”