It is two years since Jean-Marie Le Pen, the head of the French National Front, visited Britain, amid a wave of controversy.
There he met Nick Griffin, a media-friendly Cambridge graduate who has tried to soften the image of the movement he leads. Running on a hard-line anti-immigration platform, the British National Party is locally significant in a few places, but tiny nationally. In these elections it won 0.025% of the available seats. It has no seats in the national parliament. For opponents, it is a neo-fascist minority peddling racism and preying on voters’ prejudices. The BNP itself says its policies are not racist but an attempt to return to what it believes are traditional British values. Nick Griffin faces a re-trial on two race hate charges, after being cleared of two similar charges in February.