The rooftop view from the sixth-floor office of the chairman of the British Council — at the cheaper end of The Mall up against Admiralty Arch — encompasses the political landmarks of the new occupant. There’s the Welsh Office, for the man’s roots, halfway down Whitehall on the left; the office of the European Commission, to the right of Westminster Abbey and Methodist Central Hall; and, slap in the middle, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
In the middle of December last year, five police officers turned up at the Welsh home of Nick Griffin, leader of the British National party, and arrested him on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
Griffin was driven to Halifax police station and forced to watch three hours’ worth of his own speeches, which the police had surreptitiously recorded. He was then released without charge, bailed and told to reappear on 2 March this year — precisely at the time campaigning is expected to begin for the next general election.