BNP Leader Nick Griffin Pledges to Quit in 2013Nick Griffin has signalled he will quit as leader of the British National Party before the next general election.

The controversial far-Right figure vowed to walk before the end of 2013 in a move that will be seen as a clear bid to head off a leadership challenge.

The MEP was soundly defeated in his own bid to become an MP on a disastrous night for the party at the ballot box. He told a post-poll strategy meeting at the weekend that the delay before he steps down would allow him to finish work on the party's set-up.

Mr Griffin vowed he would then hand over to a younger successor who had less 'baggage' and concentrate on being re-elected to the European Parliament in 2014.

The party leader was drubbed in his bid for a seat at Westminster. He ended up in third in Barking, east London, 18,000 votes behind Labour.

The BNP was also wiped out in local council elections in the area - where it had hoped to make major gains, losing all of its 12 seats.

Nationwide, the party failed to win a single Commons seat despite fielding more than 300 candidates and could only increase its overall vote by 1.83 per cent to 514,819.

And its number of council seats was more than halved to 19, with 27 of the 29 up for re-election on May 6 losing their places. This was despite increased national exposure after Mr Griffin and Andrew Browns were elected as MEPs last year and Griffin appeared on BBC's Question Time.

Griffin announced he would quit on the party's official website after a weekend conference in the Midlands. This follows controversy over the BNP being ruled to amend the racist policies in their constitution which failed to happen.

Griffin said it would take at least 18 months to put the final 'building blocks' of the party machine in place.

'By then I would have been leader of the BNP for 15 years and that is long enough,' he said.

'It will be time to make way for a younger person who does not have any baggage which can be used against the party.'

He pledged to hand over the reins at that point to someone able to 'drive support up to where it can be a serious contender for power'.

The party said its election manner be 'revolutionised' following its 'bloody nose' in local elections, shifting to a more on-line campaign which proved to be important when their website temporally went down during the elections in May 2010.

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