BNP leader addresses Suffolk members

BNP leader Nick Griffin spoke under a cloak of secrecy at an Ipswich rally, the Evening Star can reveal.Mr Griffin addressed 40 of the far-right party faithful in Rushmere St Andrew village hall in sleepy, semi-rural Humber Doucy Lane.

BNP leader Nick Griffin spoke under a cloak of secrecy at an Ipswich rally, the Evening Star can reveal.

Mr Griffin addressed 40 of the far-right party faithful in Rushmere St Andrew village hall in sleepy, semi-rural Humber Doucy Lane.

But the hall was booked under the guise of a "wargames society" who told caretakers they planned to play board games.

BNP spokesman Dr Phill Edwards confirmed the Suffolk-raised party leader had addressed the two-and-a-half hour meeting and said he was delighted with the turn-out.


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Dr Edwards said: "We had members from Woodbridge, Yoxford and Bury St Edmunds, but the majority were from Ipswich."

Members at the meeting were far less welcoming than their head office. An Evening Star reporter and photographer were greeted with threats and intimidation when they approached the hall.

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A shaven-headed man demanded the lens be removed from the camera and said: "Have you got a problem? No? Then sling your hook."

He then followed our team down Humber Doucy Lane demanding to know if any pictures were taken and saying people might get "upset" if their identities were revealed.

Dr Edwards said his party was becoming a democratic force across Britain and said members had nothing to hide.

He said: "We're not disruptive, racist or fascist. The general public know it's a load of rubbish.

"We've got nothing to hide. We don't like to blab because the Anti-Nazi League come along and cause trouble.

"We don't want rent-a-mob turning up."

Hall caretakers Belinda and Roger Mottram were stunned when the Evening Star informed them of the meeting's true nature.

Mr Mottram steamed straight into the hall, only to find the board games he expected had been replaced by a building festooned with Union Flags.

He said: "If you hadn't come along and told us I would have had no idea what was going on.

"We've got no reason to go along to the hall in the evening when meetings are taking place."

Sam Budu, chairman of the Ipswich Racial Equality Council, said the BNP had full legal rights to meet in the town.

But he said he was "concerned" about the party's true motives for stepping up its Suffolk presence.

He said: "They come on the bandwagon of real issues, but what comes after the real issues?

"I don't think the people of Suffolk will welcome them if they come with racist or discriminatory views."

N What do you think about the BNP? Did you attend the meeting? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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