Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - Homophobic tweets lead to police investigation of far-right leader

The Twitter account of Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party, is being investigated by police over the posting of homophobic tweets.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 19 October

Homophobic tweets lead to police investigation of far-right leader


The Twitter account of Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party, is being investigated by police over the posting of homophobic tweets.

Mr Griffin’s account, @nickgriffinmep, was suspended yesterday after he allegedly shared the address of a gay couple and seemed to encourage his followers to stage demonstrations outside their home.

The couple, Michael Black and John Morgan, had recently won a landmark court battle against a Berkshire bed and breakfast owner who refused to let them share a double room for which they had already made a reservation and paid a deposit for.

Just hours after the legal victory, a tweet from Mr Griffin’s account read: “So Messrs Black & Morgan…A British Justice team will come up to Huntington & give you a...bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple’s home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!”

Cambridgeshire Police is looking into complaints about the tweets after receiving a number of calls from the public.

The BNP leader’s name began trending on Twitter after the account was reinstated today, with many tweeters calling for him to be permanently banned from the site.

Mr Griffin himself appeared unapologetic, and declared in an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live that discrimination is a “fundamental human right.”

Since his account was re-instated, Mr Griffin has continued to tweet potentially incendiary remarks. Referring to gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and Christian groups who supported gay rights, Mr Griffin tweeted: “What…would Jesus do? He recommended a millstone and some deep water.”



Questions for discussion


For primary:

  • Why is it a bad idea to share your address online?
  • Do you use social media? What rules should you follow to stay safe online?

For secondary:

  • Why do you think so many people were angry about Nick Griffin's tweets?
  • In your opinion, is the freedom to discriminate a "fundamental human right"? Why/why not?


Related resources


The words we use: homophobic insults

  • A lesson plan from Stonewall Equality to help your class begin to recognise the way homophobic and other insults operate, and how they affect people.

Dealing with the BNP and other radical groups

  • Guidance from the Citizenship Foundation on dealing with the BNP and other radical groups in school, including help with developing a clear school policy.

Online communication: what to teach your students

  • This document offers guidance on key areas that you need to address when teaching your students how to become responsible online citizens.

Sexual orientation and homophobia

  • Use these different starters, mains and extension activities to cover sexual orientation and homophobia within your lessons.

Further news resources


First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week


A renowned neuroscientist has issued a stark warning about how pre-teens are being exposed to the effects of social networks, with potentially profound consequences.

Volunteer astronomers have discovered a planet, just under 5,000 light-years away, with a quadruple star system.

Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner took to the skies on Sunday afternoon in a historic bid that saw him become the first human being to travel faster than the speed of sound in freefall.

A Pakistani teen who spoke out against the Taliban in an online blog is recovering in hospital after being shot in the head earlier this week.



In the news archive index