By politics.co.uk staff
Nick Griffin has announced he plans to step down as leader of the British National party (BNP) in 2013.
Mr Griffin fared badly in the general election, failing to unseat Margaret Hodge and presiding over what was considered a disappointing showing for the far-right party.
Speaking at a meeting of the party's advisory council, Mr Griffin confirmed he would step down in 2013 to concentrate on his attempt to be re-elected to the European parliament.
"By then I would have been leader of the BNP for 15 years and that is long enough," Mr Griffin 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."
Mr Griffin is intending on stepping down after putting in place reforms to the party's administrative organisation.
"This is going to take at least 18 months to implement and after that I intend to hand the party over to someone who will be able to drive support up to where it can be a serious contender for power," he said.
"I then intend to help the other European nationalist parties to achieve the level of sophistication which the BNP has been able to build up, because a victory for any one of these parties is a victory to all of us."
Analysts had been concerned that the combination of the expenses crisis with the recession could contribute to a surge in far-right support, but the election showed no substantial gains for the BNP.