Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 08:45 UK

Beer thrower 'beaten up by BNP'

Nick Griffin
The alleged incident took place in Painswick, Gloucestershire

A Labour MP has claimed British National Party supporters beat up a man when he threw beer over the party leader, Nick Griffin.

The alleged incident took place at the Falcon Inn, Painswick, Gloucestershire.

David Drew MP claimed the "totally upstanding" man was given "one hell of a hiding" after the incident last week.

BNP Deputy Leader Simon Darby said the man lay in wait after an altercation inside the pub and threw a pint of Guinness over Mr Griffin.

Speaking in the Commons Mr Drew, the MP for Stroud, said he did not want the BNP "anywhere near" his constituency.

'Outstanding individual'

"I don't know why [Mr Griffin] was wined and dined in my constituency in Painswick but he was," he said.

"It just so happens that one of my constituents took offence at this and happened to spill some beer over Mr Griffin.

"I happen to know the young man, and he is totally upstanding - he's an outstanding individual.

He was restrained by our security because he had a glass in his hand and you can't go throwing beer over MPs
Simon Darby, BNP

"As a result of this he was taken outside and given one hell of a hiding."

However Simon Darby, deputy leader of the BNP, said Mr Griffin and his guests were just having a meal when there was an altercation with the man.

"He was asked to leave the pub by the landlord," said Mr Darby.

"As we were leaving he had been lying in wait for us and threw a pint of Guinness over Mr Griffin.

"He was restrained by our security because he had a glass in his hand and you can't go throwing beer over MPs."

But Mr Drew said: "I am not prepared to accept that any politician has a private army."

Tory MP for Ribble Valley Nigel Evans said he was "very disturbed" to hear about the story and quipped: "What a dreadful waste of beer."

He added: "If people were beaten up every time beer was spilled over them, then there would hardly be any room in the accident and emergency of any hospital of this country."

But Mr Darby said Mr Drew was "trying to distort and warp the situation".

He said: "This was an assault and we have yet to decide whether to report it to the police."

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