Published on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 15:35 Written by Martin Banks
Pressure is mounting on parliament to take disciplinary action against British National Party MEP Nick Griffin over a controversial tweet he made.
The deputy is said to have tweeted the address of a gay couple at the centre of a discrimination trial and called for a "bit of drama" outside their home.
He is accused of urging a "British justice team" to demonstrate outside the home of Michael Black and John Morgan, who were awarded compensation after being turned away from a guest house in England because of the religious beliefs of its owners.
Griffin disagreed with a county court ruling that refusing the couple to enjoy their B&B reservation because they were gay was discrimination.
The couple's house was placed under police protection and his tweets are being investigated by the police.
ALDE MEP Andrew Duff and UK S&D members have now formally reported Griffin's controversial tweets to parliament's president Martin Schulz.
The BNP leader faces possible sanctions under parliament rules.
Glenis Willmott, the leader of Labour MEPs, said tweeting their private address to Griffin's "thuggish BNP supporters is an appalling example of homophobic incitement to violence".
"Inciting violence or even implying an invitation to mob justice is unacceptable from anyone, all the more so an MEP," she said.
UK S&D deputy Michael Cashman, who represents Labour on gay and lesbian issues added, "I brought this to the attention of the president of parliament, who should act swiftly and officially.
"Under parliament rules, MEPs' conduct 'shall be characterised by mutual respect, and be based on the values and principles laid down' in EU treaties, including respect for minorities' dignity. Nick Griffin certainly failed those values when he incited his followers to give a gay couple 'a bit of drama'.
"I do hope parliament will take serious action. This is a sad reminder of the homophobia and violence LGBT people still face."
Further comment came from Sarah Ludford, an ALDE member, who branded Griffin's tweet as "disgraceful".
She said, "This would appear to be a case for the police to investigate."
In his letter to Schulz, Duff said, "Griffin has used Twitter to provoke a potential homophobic attack on two constituents of mine who have won a court case against the owner of a guesthouse who refused them lodging on the grounds that they are gay.
"As you will know, Griffin is the leader of a party, the British National Party, which is of an extremist rightwing orientation. The antecedents of the BNP lie in the British fascist party which supported the Nazis.
"So his tweet to his followers to go to the private address of Black and Morgan to 'give you a bit of a drama' was not meant as an idle threat. Their home address has been kept private by the court, the police and the conventional media.
"Griffin has shown disrespect for the values and principles on which the EU is founded. I hope that you will be able to take some suitable action against him."
Credit: The Parliament.com