Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

BNP makes Sellafield legal threat

Nick Griffin
BNP officials say Nick Griffin wants an on-site meeting with Sellafield officials

The BNP has said it is considering "legal avenues" after its leader was refused permission to visit the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.

Nick Griffin had wanted a fact-finding tour of the site, which is in his North West European Parliament constituency.

But Sellafield Limited, the facility's operator, said it was concerned about security and possible demonstrations.

Party officials have rejected an offer by the company to hold a meeting away from the Cumbria plant.

Mr Griffin had wanted to visit Sellafield in his capacity as a member of the European Parliament's environment committee.

'Detrimental effect'

BNP spokesman Simon Darby said: "It is outrageous that a democratically-elected member of parliament for the North West cannot see something in his own constituency and directly in relation to his position.

"In 2003 Sellafield let in a delegation from Sinn Fein. If they can let them in why not us?

"They are undermining the democratic process."

He said the party was now looking at "legal avenues" to see if an on-site meeting could still go ahead.

He added: "There is no point in arranging an off-site meeting. If Nick wanted that he could have invited them to Brussels.

"You have to be there to understand the scale and complexities of the operation."

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said: "We have offered to meet Mr Griffin and his team off site to discuss this in full, in accordance with our policy of being open and transparent with all stakeholders.

"Safety is our number one value at Sellafield and we were concerned that an on-site visit by Mr Griffin and his team could cause an unnecessary distraction, with the potential for this to have a detrimental effect on safety."

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