08:28 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

POLICE protection for BNP leader Nick Griffin when he appeared on the BBC’s Question Time cost taxpayers £143,000, it emerged yesterday.

Critics of the decision to have him on the programme said BBC bosses and the BNP should have shouldered the cost and not the public.

The Metropolitan Police were forced to stage a huge operation last month when anti-BNP campaigners protested outside the BBC’s west London HQ.

Dealing with the demo cost the Met £109,000 to pay for the thousands of extra officers required, another £13,000 in overtime and £21,000 to close roads, put up barriers and fly a helicopter.

The force is funded by the Exchequer and the Greater London Authority. Labour MP Andy Slaughter, whose constituency covers the Wood Lane Television Centre, said BBC bosses should pay out of the £17.5 million they received in bonuses last year.

Labour former minister Denis MacShane added: “The BBC and the BNP should be splitting that bill between them. It was a BBC stunt. It was not a normal Question Time and it gave him a chance to get huge exposure.

“The test will be in the next round of local and Parliamentary elections, where I fear the BNP vote will go up because of the grotesque misjudgment of the BBC. They shouldn’t expect taxpayers to foot the bill for their folly.’’

A BBC spokesman would only say: “We never discuss security matters.’’ continues here

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