BNP leader Nick Griffin was today cleared of race hate charges. The 47-year-old Cambridge graduate was found not guilty at Leeds Crown Court of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred during a speech he made in Keighley, West Yorks, in 2004.
Griffin, of Llanerfyl, Powys, Wales, denied one count of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and an alternative count of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred.
The BNP's head of publicity Mark Collett, 26, Rothley, Leicestershire, was also cleared of similar charges
He denied two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and two alternative counts of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred. These charges also relate to speeches he made in Keighley.
They were both cleared a day after the jury retired to consider its verdicts.
Griffin smiled and nodded as the foreman of the jury of seven women and five men read out the not guilty plea.
In the public gallery, which was packed with his supporters, his wife Jackie burst into tears, as did some of his daughters.
There were cheers from BNP supporters in the courtroom although these were muted by the judge who insisted he wanted silence.
He advised Griffin to leave the courtroom with Collett and the party leader left, urging his supporters to be quiet as he walked out.
The jury took about five hours to come to its verdicts.
As he left the courtroom, Griffin was mobbed by more party supporters waiting in the lobby.