ID: Do you regard your appearance on Question Time as a triumph or a disaster?

NG: Neither. I wasn't pleased with my performance - the first half particularly. I'm not good defensively, even when I'm with journalists. I don't actually like soft interviews. If they ask: "What do you want to talk about?" I waffle on, I ramble. I'm far better with a Paxman. Having said that, the response we've had since has been fantastic. It was a disaster for the powers that be and very beneficial for us.

So it was a propaganda coup for you?

Yes.

You are often described as far-right but does the BNP have things in common with the far left, particularly in economic policy?

You can't place us on the political spectrum. That's quite often been the case with nationalism. On traditional social things, we're on the old traditional right wing of the Conservative Party. On the other hand, on some economic things, on the railways, or natural monopolies, such as the Post Offi ce, we think they should remain in the hands of the state. So that puts us well on the left. We're certainly not state capitalists or Marxists.

You present yourself as a moderniser. But a blog written by your legal officer Lee Barnes is all about how ethnic minorities and the Jews are awful. He reckons Britain is controlled by Zionists and their media puppets. There's just no way that if he's a national officer of the BNP, you can present the party as being anything other than obsessed by the usual issues.

Lee is a very strange and complex character. He's also regarded by all of Britain's Nazis as a leading treacherous pro-Jewish liberal, who's taken control of the BNP.

If he's liberal, I'd love to see someone who wasn't.

Lee is one of the people who believes that if you say that there's a Zionist influence in Britain, that does not make you antisemitic. We've got Jewish members. We've got a Jewish council group leader.

So some of your best friends are Jews... I see.

Lee is one of the ones who has taken most flak from Britain's Nazis, as he's taken the anti-semitism out of the BNP. But he's still fiercely anti-Zionist.

But if you say: ‘Britain is controlled by Zionists and their media puppets,' there is only one way to read that. I would say that's a grotesque exaggeration. So you don't share any of those views at all?

No.

But you've allowed someone who's obsessed by Jewish issues to hold national office in the BNP.

I do, yes. As I say, if you look at his blogs and his arguments with people in the round, you will see that he's one of the people who's taken the obsession with Jews out of the BNP. It was there. But he's one of the ones who've taken it out by putting it in context.

Some years ago, you went on an all expenses paid trip to Libya. Has the BNP ever had money from Colonel Gadaffi?

No, we didn't at the time. We got a big crate of green books, which promptly disappeared in customs, so we didn'tactually get any.

But you were asking Gadaffi for money, weren't you?

We were asking them for money if they were giving it, yes.

You had no reservation about going to a government that supported terrorists, and asking them for financial support?

We looked at Gadaffi's ideas. A lot of what was said about Gadaffi in all probability is propaganda.

If the Equalities and Human Rights Commission hadn't forced you to accept black and Asian members, would you have got to that point yourselves?

There was a long running debate within the party whether this would have to be done, or should be done. It had the potential to be very divisive. By forcing the issue, they certainly brought it forward by several years. But I think it would have happened anyway. Because it's been forced, it's united us. They've done us a favour.

How many black and Asian people have applied or been accepted for membership so far?

We've had several West Indian members for years.

I thought it was against your constitution. You've been at great pains over the past few years to say you're not a racist party. But that clause in your constitution proves the opposite.

It could be presented as proving the opposite, certainly. It's always been problematic in political terms. Superficially, it's a huge political albatross. I would say in effect, possibly. In public perception, definitely. But in terms of its intention, not. And its intention really comes from two things. Firstly, in certain parts of the country, South London say, with young, second and third generation West Indians, where they're a lawless menace to everyone around them. Or in Northern mill towns with Muslim gangs preying on white and Sikh girls and lads of other communities. It's just a fact. In Northern towns, you're dealing with dozens of families with 13 and 14-year-old daughters, who have been, and are being, gang raped by Muslims, so it's precisely that. But this isn't a rape issue, this is a cultural issue.

Do you believe gang rape is Islamic?

"These women are lawful to you, those who your right arm can own." It's in the Koran time and time again. [This quote is not in the Koran.]

Surely, you don't believe that moderate Muslims believe that?

Moderate Muslims don't interpret it like that. But there is a young, street punk Islam that does believe precisely that, and that's what the ones who are funding most of the madrasas believe. The Saudis believe that too.

If your son brought home an Asian girlfriend, what would your reaction be?

Much the same reaction as I know many Sikhs and West Indians would give, which is: "I'm not comfortable with this and you need to both really think about it because you've both got two different bloodlines and two different cultures and when you mix them up you destroy both of them."

Human emotion doesn't count?

Sure, absolutely. It's not the business of a political party to try to interfere in affairs of the heart, which is something we've enshrined as a definite statement in the new constitution. From a moral point of view, we believe that massive integration and mixing is bad because it's destructive of human cultures. We actually believe in a bizarre way we are the only genuine multiculturalists.

Excuse me, while I recover from that remark.

I understand why liberals can misunderstand what we think. People need to take a step back. Human diversity is being wiped out at a rate which is not happening with any other species. Every ecologist ought to be jumping up and down about it, saying: "This is wrong." Sting should be doing benefit gigs. Humanity as a whole has to come up with antidotes, to the homogenising ideology of left-liberalism and the homogenising effects, cultural effects, of world capitalism. Because otherwise we are going to end up all the same, all mixed up, no history, no future, no separate cultures. I think that's bad.

Let's talk about BNP policies. There's a common theme about how globalisation is wicked, and how it is really damaging society, damaging the economy, and all the rest of it. Doesn't trying to resist globalisation make you look like King Canute?

No, I don't think so. Everyone is going to very soon find out that globalisation is going to go into a reverse in any case. Because globalisation is fundamentally based on almost free transport, which is based on almost free energy. And because we have used up almost half the world's oil - there is plenty left - but from here on it gets more expensive. The economic business model of China is making things with near slave labour, and shipping them here almost free. Undercutting Western industries is actually a badly flawed business model because it ain't going to get here free anymore. Fuel prices are going to go through the roof the moment the world economy begins to recover.

Can you clarify something about climate change? On your website, it says: "The BNP accepts that climate change, of whatever origin, is a threat to Britain. Current evidence suggests that some of it may be man-made; even if this is not the case, then the principle of ‘better safe than sorry' applies."

Good lord, I will shoot someone for that. It's clearly dated. Climate change does happen, no doubt. But the climate is always changing. I think that website stuff was written about three years ago. The whole thing is a hoax.

You have this notion of going back to the 19th century and wanting to impose tariffs on lots of things, which would mean some products would double in price.

Sure, what we're looking at with the redrafting of this is to say, it has to be far more nuanced, that it has to be done over a period of time.

Your core vote, I imagine, is the white working class, not very well-off. This is going to hit them.

That's why it has to be done in a very steady, slow and nuanced fashion. As long as it's creating proper jobs and helping in a rather more closed economy, it's helping to raise the tax base. It's helping families to help themselves not being forced to be a burden on the state. It's going to be a benefit.

What about another one which would hit the same group of people, increasing VAT?

We've never said we're increasing VAT.

I think you'll find you have.

We believe the Labour Party and the Tories without a shadow of a doubt would increase VAT. We know they're going to increase VAT to 20 per cent after this election, and put it on food in harmonisation with Europe so it's coming anyway, and that's wrong. I'm sure we haven't said we'll increase VAT.

You need to read your own literature. How would you cut the national debt?

By stopping bailing out the banks because they've crippled themselves. They should all go to the wall. And we should simply pick up the pieces. That would stop it getting that much worse.

RBS, the Bank of Scotland, Lloyds - you'd have let them all go down the pan?

We'd have let them all go down the pan. And then we'd have nationalised all the assets and turned it into a national reconstruction bank so that where people are still paying mortgages and all the rest, there would be money coming in. We'd have looked after the shareholders and written everybody else off.

But what about national debt?

We would get it down. It's safe to assume there'd be a great reluctance of the assorted financial institutions around the world to lend money to a BNP government, although generally they lend to everybody, don't they?

At a price.

Well, there's a profit to be had, so they certainly would do. We would deal with the fact that we're getting into debt more and more by not being in the European Union.

I still haven't heard what you would do in the next two years to address the huge level of borrowing that we now have.

We would set about eliminating all the sectors of the politically correct servile state that we possibly could, which goes well beyond translators and all the rest of it. We are in a terrible hole. Things have got to be fairly drastic to deal with it. For instance, health and safety inspectors in restaurants, we pay a fortune for them.

That would save a pathetic amount.

It isn't made up of a couple of huge sums, this expenditure. It's across the board. It's an example.

How would you reform the benefits system?

By recreating a proper hard industrial base in this country to create real, decent, well paid jobs. That would raise the overall wage rates up and make it worth people's while working so they could afford to work. There are people all around the country who genuinely can't afford to work. It's madness. Once there's work out there that is decently paid and people can take it. If they don't take it and they're fit to work, they can starve.

What about Britain's role in the world?

We'd stop fighting any more of these stupid wars pretending we're a world policeman. No Iran war, which is coming. All the last bits out of Iraq, and end the Afghan war immediately. We're a bankrupt third rate nation now.

That's not very patriotic of you. I'd have thought that standing up to Iran would actually have been something you'd approve of.

No, the Saudi Arabians want us to stand up to Iran because they want to take out their rivals. The Saudi pressure on the old Iranian regime was enormous. No, it's nothing to do with us.

If we withdrew from Afghanistan, wouldn't that be admitting defeat to Al-Qaeda?

No, because we're not fighting Al-Qaeda. We're fighting Afghan peasants and they've always beaten everyone. Of course we're going to lose. We can't win in Afghanistan. Even the Soviet Union couldn't win there. The only way you could win there is if you nuked it, which can't be done.

How can you fight Al-Qaeda then?

You can stop any more young Muslims pouring into Britain for a start because we weren't bombed by Afghan peasants on 7 July.

You can't tar them with the same brush.

We were bombed by people who we, locally in the area, had pointed out to the police several years before as being radical and involved in paramilitary training in the woods. We weren't bombed by Afghan peasants.

But these Muslims who perpetrated the 7/7 bombings, they grew up in this country - they weren't immigrants. They were born here. That rather defeats the argument: "Don't allow any more Muslims in."

No, but that's a start. We're not going to be attacked by Afghan peasants. Does Al-Qaeda as such even really exist, as opposed to it being just an ideological trend? It's a means on the internet more than anything else. These people don't need a guiding hand. It's a bit like the old anti-semitic crazies with the elders of Zion. They never existed. Likewise, obviously Bin Laden existed - probably is still alive - but the young Muslims that probably make up ten per cent of Britain's immigrant population who are fanatically pro Al- Qaeda and Jihad, they don't need guidance from a man in a cave. They're going to destroy your society one way or another and they've got various ways to do it and they're going to do it.

The BNP has always had this reputation of being anti-Jewish. What's your view on Israel and does it have the right to selfdetermination?

Yes, we've changed the position very radically from being knee-jerk support of the Palestinians, not solely from an antisemitic point of view, also sympathy. These are a people whose ancestral land has been taken away by recent arrivals.

Would you say in the past the BNP has been anti-semitic?

Yes, [John] Tyndall and others were extremely anti-semitic. Part of that was in a way just a historical quirk. You've got to understand the people who created that movement. You had a hugely disproportionate number of people serving in the Palestine police. There were loads in the 1970s - you couldn't go to a branch meeting without finding someone that worked within the Palestine police. And they had a pretty rough time from the Stern Gang and so forth, and that coloured everything. It's taken years to turn that around to a sensible position which is where I think we are now. Israel is now in the front line of a civilisational war, which shouldn't have happened, between the West and Islam.

In the interview you did with Andrew Marr last year you said that you found Mein Kampf very dull but enjoyed one chapter of it. Which chapter was that?

That was the chapter on propaganda - that was interesting.

In what way?

Because it's a long time since I read it, I can't remember it. The only thing I can remember is repetition. But I suppose perhaps the Nazis were ahead of their time in now standard advertising techniques...it's irrelevant really.

How do you react to being called a fascist?

We're not fascist. If fascism is defined in its proper sense, it's about worship of the state or of a man that personifies the state. Our tradition is very much in the British tradition of limited government with checks and balances and so on.

You could have fooled me. Half your policy programme involves a larger state.

We're not fascist in that regard. It's about a close, almost incestuous relationship, between the state and the corporations. It's corporate fascism. The Thatcherite, Blairite PFI - that's fascist. Another defining factor of fascism is the use of political violence as a political weapon against your opponents. And we're the victims of a Marxist fascism - we do not practise or want to practise violence against anyone else.

Apart from throwing journalists out of press conferences...

Apart from throwing out lying journalists when they're asked. I've been instructed that the fellow that quite gleefully grabbed his nose and twisted it shouldn't be put on duties like that anymore, because that was over the top. But the journalist was still breaking the law and he was removed with the minimum force necessary.

Why is the BNP so anti-gay?

We're not drastically anti-gay. We were, but it was just a reflection of white working class culture of the 70s. It's unfamiliar, it's odd and I'm afraid it is creepy. Grown men kissing in public is creepy to most people. You don't often see it. But if you do see it, it's not a matter of homophobia. It's odd and you have to explain it to little kids - that's strange. We're not anti-gay. I took over a party which had a total ban on homosexual members. We've got gay members now and people know who they are, but it's ‘don't ask, don't tell'.

When did you stop denying the Holocaust?

I've never actually denied the Holocaust. I've said some terribly rude things about it and the way it's exploited.

You said: "It's well known that chimneys from the buildings at Auschwitz are fake."

Ah, but I also said in the piece that huge numbers of Jews were persecuted or murdered by the Nazis and their allies just because they were Jewish in one of the great crimes of the twentieth century. To deny the Holocaust is presumably to say that no one was killed, that the camps didn't exist. Obviously that would be nonsense.

Do you believe six million Jews were killed?

That's the same old problem. I genuinely cannot discuss it with you because European law forbids it.

That's bollocks.

It's not bollocks. European law....

What you're saying then is you don't believe six million were killed.

There are defence lawyers in Germany in prison now because they've explained in court what their client said.

It's a simple enough question. You either believe that six million Jews died in the Holocaust or you don't.

The Holocaust happened.

But you're not willing to say that six million Jews died?

Precisely six million?

Around six million - that's the accepted number by historians.

I don't think that there should be any restrictions on historical inquiry. Nor should it be an offence to be wrong. But since it is an offence to be wrong - it's an offence to discuss what I used to believe or even the extent to which I've changed my mind - and I have done. I really can't talk about it.

You can talk about it to the extent that you can say whether or not you believe that around six million Jews died.

I can't tell you because it's - look, I'm not going to be interrupted and left with something that I've said that I wasn't...

This won't be edited.

I suppose I can tell you that the reasons for my doubts were, specifically with the six million figure. The problem was the way it was used as a moral club to prevent any sensible debate about immigration. That's the issue. It's nothing to do with anti-semitism or anything. And there's been people, including Jews and former concentration camp inmates, who've said that aspects of this history have been exaggerated and so on. So that's the base line. When I was at school, the figure of six million was made up of four million murdered at Auschwitz and two million murdered elsewhere. That's six million.

Well, that's not true.

That was the fact as presented to people in the 1970s. Then it emerged that the authorities of Auschwitz downgraded the scale of the murders there from four million to a still shattering and appalling 1.1 million. So you're 2.9 million short.

No, the figure of six million came from the idea that in all the other death camps and elsewhere, two million died and in Auschwitz there were four million gassed and cremated - that's where the figure was made up from. Take the noughts off. If you have six and take away 2.9, do you still have six?

No one would say where they came from. All they would do is persecute anyone who said six, take away 2.9, does not equal six. They were put in prison, beaten, had their houses firebombed, driven from their jobs. That greatly offended me and made me take up the issue of their behalf. But what I will say now is I believe that the evidence that came from British intelligence of German operations behind the lines on the Eastern front makes it quite possible to believe that a million people were shot to death on anti-partisan warfare, mainly as hostages and that the Germans, naturally enough, didn't pick white Russian or Belarussian peasants, who were quite often on their side. They picked the local Jewish community because most of the partisans were Jewish, which again you can't really be surprised about, as it's one of these cycles of horror. So therefore, you are no longer missing the 2.9. You are missing nearly two million. That's all. It would be interesting to be told where they come from. But because the powersthat- be are so convinced that it's true and have passed laws to say that it's true, and because it is irrelevant and because it's deliberately misunderstood, anyone who questions this is held up as anti-semitic. Whereas, it's nothing to do with antisemitism at all. It's about the rights of free speech, or the right of the states and powerful vested interest groups, to prevent free speech. That's what it's actually about. But because everyone's misunderstood or it leads one to jail, I have no doubt whatsoever that the others, the missing ones, must have been there so clearly the six million figure is correct.

Can you think of one positive aspect of immigration?

Well, a wide range of curries is a plus. But there again, I've got the recipes.

The reason I ask that is when you look across the range of policies you outline on your website, almost every one you look at - and you demonstrated it earlier with the environmental stuff - leads back to immigration.

It's a fair summary of the situation, as all things are interconnected. Secondly, it's a failing of ours and a failing of quite a lot of our writers, as they are all virtually untrained and virtually all volunteers. They write about things with their own glasses and perspectives on. We'd be better as a propaganda machine if we did have it separated out and even where you could see a connection we didn't point to it. But we're not a spin party.

Even though you like the spin chapter in Mein Kampf so much. In your 2005 manifesto you said: "We will end immigration to the UK and reduce our land's population burden by creating firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home." What does "firm" mean and what does "home" mean, because they are quite difficult to define?

Firm would mean that certainly in the case of serious criminals and illegals and people whose right to work was removed. For instance, when we left the European Union, there wouldn't be a choice about it. They would have to go.

Where?

If we are talking about the Eastern Europeans, who have got the right to come here, it is obvious where home is. With most people, it is clear where they have come from. If people have entered this country and torn their documents up, then even if they have been granted asylum, they shouldn't have been, and we would reverse that.

But if you don't know where they have come from, you can't return them there.

If you want to, you can virtually find out which village they come from in Africa with DNA tests. Someone has got to take them. But their presence here isn't fair. And it is not legal.

Just because you want to send them somewhere, doesn't mean that the state you want to send them to has to accept them. What do you do if they say no?

Well... we'll find some silly European liberal state which will happily take them. Someone will take them.

You reckon?

Yes, someone will take them.

"Firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home..." Is that policy still your policy now?

Yes, broadly so. Let's reword the bit in the case of ones who have no right to be here. It would be firm. It wouldn't be brutal, it would be firm. In the case of people who have come here legally, who are integrated into our society, we would say: "Look it is on the table. If you want to take it, you can take it."

There are about 5.5 million British people who have emigrated or are working abroad. Do you think that the countries in which they live should encourage them to return here?

That is up to them. That's their right. We have African leaders all over Southern Africa, begging Britain to stop poaching our NHS staff. They use them as cheap labour. They often aren't up to the skill levels that are the best that we can produce. Once they have been here, if we could say to those countries: "Here is money for infrastructure and so on. We will help you with foreign aid because you will have a larger population." We would use it partly to undo some of the damage that mass immigration has caused.

Tags: In conversation, Issue 22, Nick Griffin