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On October 27th 2013 “The Mail” newspaper was printed with a photo of two British army soldiers standing in front of a British flag while imitating a Nazi greeting. The Chief of the Defence Staff reassured the general public that measures in the form of administrative sanctions will be taken against the soldiers.

In 2015, the so-called “British Movement” – an unregistered National Socialist youth movement – organised a small rally in North Yorkshire to commemorate Adolf Hitler’s birthday. The same group held a summer solstice festival. According to them, the festival was based on a National Socialist principle “power through happiness”.

The main source of open glorification of Nazism in 2016 was the aforementioned neo-Nazi outfit National Action (NA). On 26th May the group held a protest in York, where they gave Nazi salutes and unfurled an anti-refugee banner with a picture of Adolf Hitler on it. The group was also investigated by police after they posted a photograph on their social media accounts which seemed to appear to show two of them giving Nazi salutes at the former Buchenwald concentration camp while holding the group’s Nazi-inspired flag. Following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in the lead up to the EU referendum, National Action gave public and strong support to her murderer Tom Mair, tweeting the messages: “Our thoughts go out to Thomas Mair #Britain-First #JoCoxMP' and, 'Don't let this man's sacrifice go in vain. #JoCox would have filled Yorkshire with more subhumans." The group were subsequently proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000, being described by the British Government as “a racist neo-Nazi group”.

During the trial of the aforementioned Jo Cox murderer Thomas Mair, the Jury heard that police had found evidence “including books found at Mair’s home and an examination of his online activities, showed him to be obsessed with the Nazis ... Police later found that a library of far-right literature in his bedroom, including books on the Nazis and white supremacism. On top of the bookshelf was a gold-coloured Third Reich eagle with a swastika.”

The campaigning organisation, Hope not Hate’s, 2018 ‘State of Hate’ report found seven active fascistic or Nazi ‘groupuscules’ that litter the extremes of UK radical right politics. Among the most significant of these (in terms of membership) are the White Power music network, Blood & Honour; the neo-Nazi street movement, the Misanthropic Division; and the BNP’s former security branch, Combat 18.

Turning to the former, 2017 was a ‘disastrous year’ for Blood & Honour, seeing attendance down 80% at its annual Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig. Moreover, after successfully forging links with other neo-Nazi and counter-jihad street movements in 2016, Combat 18 ‘went back to sleep in 2017’. By contrast, the UK’s Misanthropic Division highlighted the increasingly transnational nature of radical right scene – recruiting pro-Nazi sympathisers from the UK to fight in Ukraine under the auspices of the Azov Battalion.

Moving away from the organised neo-Nazi scene, a more worrying UK trend has been the rise in (attempted) terrorist violence by glorifiers of German Nazism and the radical right more generally. On 23 June 2017 – one year to the day after the vote to leave the European Union – a 20-year-old neo-Nazi sympathiser, Ethan Stables, attempted to attack a gay pride event in the Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness. Becoming increasingly immersed in Nazi ideology from September 2016, Stables was reported to the police by an alarmed member of the ‘National Socialists Union standing against the New World Order’ Facebook group. Earlier in the reporting period, another incident of neo-Nazi terrorism came to light, this time in response to the Manchester terror attack. Having a history of searching for the Third Reich and pictures of Hitler, 31-year-old Ian Seabrook intended to petrol bomb Mosques in the wake of the May 2017 attack. In February 2018, he was jailed for eight years for making a threat to kill, sending malicious communications, threatening to destroy property, and having articles with intent to destroy property.

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