When he did finally arrive in the press room, wearing an extremely bad pink shirt, pink tie combination and NO poppy, he greeted the rest of the panel and firmly shook the hand of the frail 81-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen, the controversial French leader of the Front National right-wing party before taking his seat.
Andrew Brons, the other BNP MEP, joined proceedings even later, strolling through the chamber with his white shirt scruffily hanging out at the back. He too was poppy-less. (Clearly, these people have a lot of respect)
Anyway the press conference proceeded and was called to officially announce the formation of the European Alliance of National Movements, whose formation I previously blogged on 26th October (see article), and also to set out the Alliance's "manifesto".
On a single sheet of plain-printed A4 paper, the "political declaration" of the Alliance declared them to be "mindful of the inalienable values of Christianity, natural law, peace and freedom in Europe", demands the creation of "a Europe of free, independent and equal nations in the framework of a confederation of sovereign nation states, refraining from taking decisions on matters properly taken by the states themselves," and also calls for "the effective protection of Europe against new threats, such as terrorism and religious, political, economic or financial imperialism".
Griffin, it has to be said, was not as controversial as normal - largely because he passed the buck to others to respond to the press questions. Saying that, the 'Holocaust denial' was refuted; although I have no recollection of anyone actually asking him about that, I thought the question he was asked was about the funding the Alliance is hoping to get from the EU...
The most striking part of the conference though was a quite frankly remarkable comment made by French Front National vice-president Bruno Golllnisch who likened the significance of the founding of this new Alliance to the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall in the context of European history.
Now that time I did choke on my coffee, I even shook my head in disbelief. It was clear that not only had they difficulty in finding the room, but they had difficulty in understanding how wrong they are.
It was a shame that there was no translation available, as although the conference was delivered in English and French, we could all have done with someone translating their ideas into something more European...