Nick Griffin: I didn't mean any offence to Bournemouth Uni
Bournemouth Echo | Wednesday, 30 January 2013 | Click here for original article
Controversial politician Nick Griffin has said he didn't mean to cause offence after rowing with a Bournemouth University student on Twitter.
The leader of the British National Party called Bournemouth University a “disappointment” on the social networking site.
Nick Griffin became embroiled in a spat with radio student Lucy Bennett, who tweeted him first to say: “I hope your day has been crappy so far.”
He replied that his day had been fantastic, adding: “Sorry to disappoint you”, and the student said: “That's alright, life is full of disappointment”.
Griffin then said: “Um, Bournemouth Uni has been your biggest to date I fear.”
However, the MEP, who has more than 19,000 followers on the social networking site, said he hadn't meant to cause any offence with his tweet.
@thisislucyb Um , Bournemouth Uni been your biggest to dateI fear .— Nick Griffin MEP (@nickgriffinmep) January 28, 2013
When asked if he had any comment, he replied: “Only that no one should take Twitter too seriously.
“I have got a very large Twitter reach - I'm easily the third most popular British MEP out of 72, 73 [people]. I have got a large number of followers because I've got a bit of cheek and cause some fun and controversy.
"I find it attracts people and gets them to retweet. I certainly have nothing against Bournemouth or Bournemouth University.
"This incident was caused by a particularly foul-mouthed, aggressive and unnecessary tweet to me, and I poked her back.
!With respect, possibly Bournemouth University was not at the top of her list [of universities]. But it was only a bit of fun, and as I say, I have nothing against the university.”
The student told friends on the site that she hadn't expected Griffin to reply, and tweeted: “I seem to have ignited some kind of Twitter war with Nick Griffin.
“I am confused.”
Griffin said he often doesn't have time to look at comments on the website.
“I don't look at comments all the time,” he said. “If I'm travelling, or in a particularly boring meeting in Parliament, which happens quite frequently, I'll have a look. It's a luxury for me. It's all a bit of banter. A lot of the time, people will tweet comments and I don't ever see them.”
A Bournemouth University spokesperson said: “We are aware of the tweet and have nothing to add.”