Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

Good riddance Griffin... but rise of Right in Europe means no time to celebrate, says Manchester council leader

Good riddance Griffin... but rise of Right in Europe means no time to celebrate, says Manchester council leader

| By Kate Brady

Good riddance to Nick Griffin… but there’s no room to celebrate according to the leader of Manchester City Council – as UKIP land three MEP seats across the North West.

UKIP made British history on Sunday night as they became the first party that wasn’t Labour or the Conservatives to top a national pole since 1910 – a success achieved without even having any MPs.

Securing three of eight MEP seats in the North West and 27.5% of the national electorate, UKIP are joining the Euro-sceptic trendsetters surging throughout the continent.

However, following UKIP’s success at the European Elections, Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese remained sceptical about what UKIP truly stands for.

He told MM: “I’m delighted to see the back of BNP but sad to see they've been replaced by another far right party."

While UKIP leader Nigel Farage jubilated in what he described as ‘the most extraordinary result’ in British politics in the past century, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the public were ‘disillusioned’ by the EU and that their message was ‘received and understood’.

The growing number of Euro-sceptics in the European Parliament will now have a greater say in parliamentary decisions and the passing of EU legislation than ever before.

Following his re-election as one of eight MEPs for the North West, UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall vowed that his members would not vote for any legislation that would pass powers to 'faceless bureaucrats' in Europe.

In mainland Europe, a similar story of euro-scepticism unfolded into the early hours of Monday morning. In France, where the next presidential election isn’t scheduled until spring 2017, the National Front (FN) won 25% of the French vote.

Keeping right-wing in the family is National Front leader Marine Le Pen who will be joined by father and founder of the FN Jean-Marine Le Pen and her partner Louis Aliot amongst the FN’s 24 MEP seats – eight times the number secured in the 2009 elections.

BNP leader Nick Griffin, who lost his MEP seat in the North West said the victory of France’s far-right National Front was ‘good news’ for the continent. France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls however described Sunday night’s results as a ‘political earthquake’.

Even in Germany the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party managed to attain just below 7% of the votes, with hopes of sending seven MEPs to the European Parliament.

AfD Leader Bernd Lucke said: “It’s springtime in Germany. Some flowers are blossoming, some are wilting.”

The party, who like UKIP, have been accused of acquainting themselves with the far-right, once again denied such cooperation on Sunday, despite Lucke once infamously referring to immigrants as ‘social dregs’.

Perhaps even more alarming is that the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) also secured its first seat in the European Parliament after receiving 300,000 votes.

Further afield on the continent, The Danish People's party topped the polls in Denmark, doubling their seats from two to four. Radical party Jobbik did well in Hungary, maintaining their three MEP seats and Greece’s far right party Golden Dawn also secured three.

Whilst any real cooperation between the newly elected Euro-sceptics remains to be seen, their anti-EU influence will still be felt in the European Parliament more than ever before.

The Euro-sceptic MEPS will sit together in the Europe of Freedom & Democracy (EFD) group – one of eight groups within the European Parliament. The group opposes European integration from what often tends to be a right-wing perspective.

Following Sunday night’s results, UKIP will supply 24 MEPs to the EFD group for which Nigel Farage was the co-president during the last parliament.

In the meantime, despite the gains for Euro-sceptics in the European Parliament, the main centre-right and left groups continue to hold the majority of the Parliament’s 751 seats.

Closer to home, despite UKIP topping the national polls, they actually won the votes of just 9% of the voting public, as the national electorate turnout was just 33.8%.

Image courtesy of European Parliament, with thanks.