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UK to consider banning far-right neo-Nazi group


United Kingdom

UK to consider banning far-right neo-Nazi group

The UK government on Monday will be called upon to make a landmark decision which would ban and label a British neo-Nazi group a terrorist organisation.

National Action, a National Socialist group claiming to be a growing community throughout the UK “united in a mission to save our race and generation”, would be the first far-right group in the country of which membership would be outlawed.

Parliament is expected to decide on the matter this week when the motion is presented to MPs.

The call to ban National Action, whose website listing on Google reads “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain!” follows recent pressure on MPs in parliament to formulate a response to the high-profile June 2016 shooting and stabbing death of Labour MP Jo Cox by white supremacist, and Nazi sympathiser, Thomas Mair.

The attack took place days before from the UK’s Brexit referendum vote, and has been characterised as a terrorist attack in court hearings. Cox was an avid supporter of immigration.

Mair (pictured) had reportedly cried out “Britain first” after fatally attacking Cox in broad daylight. He was found guilty on Nov. 23 of the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Since the attack, Louise Haigh, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley called upon parliamentary MPs on Nov. 25, to debate and consider labeling Britain First, another far-right organisation in the UK, as a terrorist organisation.
David Lidington, the Leader of the House, reportedly passed along MP Haigh’s request to be investigated by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, but added “there has to be clear evidence of terrorist involvement for the terrorist proscription to be applied.”

Monday’s proscription against National Action makes no reference to Britain First.

In publishing photos and anti-Semitic slogans on twitter , which reportedly glorified Mair, National Action has been deemed to have crossed the line and “glorified terrorism” reports The Times newspaper.

In November in parts of Liverpool , National Action was linked to stickers posted on lampposts warning passers-by they were entering a “Nazi controlled zone.”

But the group in their November newsletter disputes the grounds for a governmental proscription, stating it “neither sanction[s] or endorse[s] terrorism, and in [its] three years of existence no member of National Action has been arrested for even an act of petty violence.”

If the proscription moves ahead, anyone caught joining or actively supporting the organisation could face criminal prosecution and potential freezes on financial asset.

Since the June Brexit referendum vote, British authorities have reported a rising number of religious and race hate crime throughout the country leading to anti-extremist and anti-hate charity group Hope not hate to warn of “bolder and more aggressive” intolerant behaviour in the country as racist views become increasingly mainstream following the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election victory in the United States.

In the month following the June referendum, racist or religious abuse incidents recorded by police in England and Wales increased by 41 percent.

Statistics from the National Police Chiefs Council indicate the number of people enrolled in Channel, a programme developed to provide support to people at risk of being drawn into violent extremism in all forms, has progressively increased.

In the year from 2012 to 2013, 172 people were listed as part of Channel for far right extremism. By 2015 until March 30, the latest date for which there is data, that number had grown to 561.

By contrast, as of March 30, there were 2,800 people part of the programme for Islamist extremism, an increase from 506 in 2013.