Big Nazi On Campus
BNP leader Nick Griffin invited to speak at Nottingham
BNP leader Nick Griffin is set to speak at a University Park debate, after he was invited by two Nottingham students.
A law student and a politics student – who have asked not to be named – have made the dramatic move to invite the right-wing politician, who has a race hate conviction and once denied the existence of the holocaust.
One confirmed the invitation, telling the Tab: “It’s us doing this at the moment, no one else. No society is involved. It’s still early days but we don’t want rumours spreading and getting out of hand.”
They refused to comment on their reasons for the invitation.
Although no formal application has yet been made to the University, Griffin confirmed in August he plans to speak at Nottingham.
He tweeted: “Re invite to Notts Uni Question Time. I’d be delighted, provided there’s only one question re the BNP & my unspeakable wickedness.”
The Tab understands a security operation to protect the BNP leader could cost the university £16,000, meaning everyone of the 32,000 students would effectively be contributing 50p to secure his safety.
It is unclear which society will host the debate, but the pair sit on the committees of the Pro Bono and Politics societies respectively.
There is no suggestion the invitation was made by either society.
Griffin, who once described himself as “the most loathed man in Britain” made a failed bid to attend a death penalty debate last year.
Protests have also stopped him visiting Cambridge, Bath and St Andrews, although he did speak at Oxford in 2007.
The SU said they had received no contact and declined to comment. But their nonpartisan constitution means they must consider allowing him on campus.
A statement from pressure group Unite Against Fascism said: “The majority of students will be threatened if Griffin is given a platform. Griffin will use this platform to gain publicity, credibility and legitimacy to build support for its campaign of hate, at a time when support for the BNP is actually at its lowest for a decade.”
But Asian Society (ASOC) committee member Karishma Dharni said she was in favour of Griffin being challenged in a debate at the university.
She said: “By no means am I speaking on behalf of the ASOC committee or society as a whole but if you can’t propose, challenge and debate extreme ideas in an intellectual environment such as this one, where can you do it?
“Nick Griffin has the right to air his views and will face the backlash of doing so – I wouldn’t support the rejection of his invitation.”
Nick Griffin declined to comment.