National Action - the banned neo-Nazi group which holds 'Miss Hitler' pageants

National Action - the banned neo-Nazi group who claim 'Hitler was right'

National Action is a prominent neo-Nazi group and reportedly continues to thrive despite official proscription (Stock image)

Friday, October 27, 2017

The group at the centre of today's terror storm is a neo-Nazi organisation which claims Hitler was right and has even held a Miss Hitler pageant.

Six men have been already been charged on suspicion of being members of National Action, the first far-right movement to be to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Home Secretary Amber Rudd last year, according to The Guardian.

All six are appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court today (October 27), but now one of the men, Christopher Lythgoe, has also been charged with encouragement to commit murder. It is thought the charge is linked to Labour MP Rosie Cooper. 

As the group is proscribed, anyone who joins, supports or facilitates it is committing a criminal offence. Yet this has apparently failed to deter adherents: a report by Hope Not Hate in February this year claimed that the group was still operating in small groups or considering starting a new group with a new name.

It claimed members in the north of England were being led by a mixed martial arts instructor in Rochdale and in Manchester a Polish man leads people to Jewish areas at night, leaving behind leaflets and information from far-right European groups.

It is not actually clear who the leading figures are or how the group is organised internally. However it was reported in 2014 by The Mirror that the leader was a man named Benjamin Raymond, then 25 years old, a former double-glazing salesman who graduated from Essex University with a degree in politics. Jack Renshaw, a former BNP candidate, has also been named as a spokesman by The Sun.

Last year several members were detained after a group of 20 people performed Nazi salutes in York. In December a man named Lawrence Burns was convicted of inciting racial hatred, after he recorded himself saying he wanted there to be a "real Holocaust."

The group was also caught up in the storm of abuse directed at MP Luciana Berger. A man named Garron Helm was jailed in 2014 for sending anti-semitic abuse to the Labour politician, and police National Action flags when they searched his home, The Mirror said.

The group's website includes the slogan "death to traitors, freedom for Britain," the same statement read out in court by Thomas Mair, the man who murdered MP Jo Cox.

Previously the neo-Nazi group has held several demonstrations which have included speakers talking about “the disease of international Jewry” and suggesting “when the time comes they’ll be in the chambers." Activists have also held banners reading “Hitler was right."

Footage has also been released showing members training for combat, as well as supporters putting up posters in Newbury and Liverpool which claimed the areas were "white zones."

The group has launched its own investigation on paedophiles called Paedo Hunt, claiming it was a tribute to a Russian vigilante group which allegedly tortured gay men. However this investigation was launched after a member of National Action was convicted of sexually abusing a vulnerable teenager, The Huffington Post reported.

One of the most shocking events organised by the group was held last year, Miss Hitler 2016. The competition was said to be set up to recognise the female members of the group. A Scottish woman was crowned as the winner, however her name was not revealed and in photos part of her face was covered.

National Action's website said that, when the winner was asked who she'd kill if she could get away with it, she responded with the name of Angela Merkel, adding that she'd put her “in one of her camps and let her pet refugees do the rest.”