Author: By Lewis Smith and Michael Savage
David Drew MP told the House of Commons last night that a “totally
upstanding” constituent was given “one hell of a hiding” by
He said the attack took place as Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP who was
last month elected as a Member of the European Parliament, was visiting
Painswick, Gloucestershire. “I don’t know why he was wined and dined in
my constituency in Painswick but he was,” Mr Drew said. “It just
so happens that one of my constituents took offence at this and happened to
spill some beer over Mr Griffin. As a result of this he was given one hell
of a hiding.”
The MP for Stroud added: “I am not prepared to accept that any politician
has a private army. I am not prepared to have the BNP anywhere near my
constituency. But I hope that we will look at the actions of the BNP.”
He told the Commons that he knew the victim, whom he said he was proud to be
associated with, but that an arrest and charges were unlikely to be made
because the constituent was too shocked to pursue it. “That’s just
indicative of what the BNP is like,” the MP said.
The Deputy Commons Leader Barbara Keeley said the allegation of the attack was
a “serious thing”.
The attack is alleged to have taken place on 11 July at the Falcon pub in
Painswick after the constituent, a teenager, waited outside and threw a pint
of Guinness over the BNP leader.
A spokesman for the BNP dismissed the claims made in Parliament as, “just
another MP trying to make a bit of political capital out of this”.
He said that the constituent, for whom he had “no sympathy”, had
verbally abused Mr Griffin before throwing a drink.
“People have got to realise that they cannot go around trying to attack
senior politicians in this way,” he said.
“After he threw the beer, our security treated him robustly. That
could’ve been acid for all we knew. How did he expect us to react?”
In an interview with a local newspaper the victim, named only as Ben, said he
had wanted to confront Mr Griffin to give him, “a taste of people’s
feelings towards him”. He told how he had felt intimidated by a group
of BNP supporters before being put in a headlock by “one of his
Gloucestershire police said in a statement: “The group restrained him and
it was during this time that the man states he was assaulted and bruising
caused to his face. He did not wish to make a formal complaint.”
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