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Friday, 24 August, 2001, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Tory in the eye of the storm
Mr Griffin lives in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire
A member of Iain Duncan Smith's Tory leadership campaign team with close links to the BNP has been sacked and expelled from the party. BBC News Online profiles the man in the spotlight, Edgar Griffin.

The main claim to fame of Edgar Griffin, 79, is that he is the father of Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP).

Griffin senior, deputy chairman of the Montgomeryshire Conservative Association, had been a member of the Tory party since 1948, until his expulsion following a row over his links to the BNP.

His wife, Jean, stood as a BNP candidate in Mr Duncan Smith's own Chingford and Woodford Green, constituency at the General Election, polling 1,062 votes.

Griffin junior polled 16% of the vote in Oldham West at the General Election, which came only weeks after serious rioting in the town between white and Asian youths.

Edgar Griffin
Edgar Griffin says his views are shared by grassroots Tories
He wore a mock gag during the declaration as a protest against the Returning Officer's request for candidates not to make remarks which may inflame the situation.

Young Nick's involvement in far-right politics is said to have begun when his father, a right-wing Tory councillor, took him to a National Front meeting at the age of 15.

The family lived in rural Suffolk, far from the front-line of multicultural Britain.

They later moved to mid-Wales.

Griffin senior lives in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, not far from his son, who lives on a smallholding, where he raises pigs and chickens.

'I'm willing to resign'

A retired accountant, Mr Griffin told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was willing to resign as one of the 40 vice presidents of Mr Duncan Smith's campaign team in Wales.

He said he did not want to "rock the boat" for Mr Duncan Smith.

Mr Griffin said he had campaigned for the Tory Party in local and national elections for decades. He was confident that his wife's defection to the BNP earlier this year would not be held against him by the party in Montgomeryshire.

Nick Griffin
Nick Griffin: Media-friendly son
Mr Griffin has admitted answering a BNP election phoneline but said it happened only once, when his wife was out of the house posting a letter.

He conceded his views on asylum seekers and voluntary repatriation differed from the party leadership, which he claimed was "afraid of its own shadow".

But he said they were in line with those of many grassroots Tories.

Mr Griffin said: "My opinions have not changed since 1948 on those matters."

The controversial Tory official said he had great differences with the BNP, especially on its employment and social policies.

See also:

24 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Duncan Smith sacks BNP-linked backer
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