Plot to Murder an MP FOILED – Overview

Matthew Collins, the HOPE not hate head of intelligence, got the message while on holiday in Portugal: call me ASAP. The encrypted message came from HOPE not hate’s source inside the banned neo-nazi group National Action, Robbie Mullen. The news Robbie shared was serious: a nazi had hatched a plot to murder an MP.

The conviction of Jack Renshaw, the man who was planning to carry out the murder, means that we can now tell the story of how HOPE not hate came to be in a position to foil this terrorist attempt and bring a nazi gang to its knees.

The story begins with National Action: a small but violent group formed out the remnants of the BNP’s youth wing, by a group of men who worshipped Hitler and held some of the most extreme views we’ve ever seen in years of tracking the far right. You can read the full story on them here, and track their development on a new NA timeline.

NA was banned in 2016, but – unlike the authorities – HOPE not hate never stopped tracking the organisation. We followed their activity carefully, trying to understand their leadership and plans. We never stopped pursuing them. Then one day, a disillusioned member contacted us. After working with him for several months, we got word of the murder plot. Matthew Collins tells the full story for the first time here. You can trace the timeline of the plot here.

We’re proud of the work we did, and we’re proud of our source, Robbie. With Jack Renshaw only days away from acting on his plan, Robbie basically saved the life of Rosie Cooper MP and quite possibly DC Victoria Henderson. He did this at great sacrifice to himself but he had no hesitation in revealing the plot and taking the witness stand against his former NA friends. He had to walk out of his job, go into hiding and know there’s a target on his back for the rest of his life.

We all owe him a great deal of gratitude.

It is vital that the authorities learn lessons from this case: why were they unaware that an organisation was banned for being a terrorist threat had, in fact, continued to operate? Why were HOPE not hate staff and our source treated with suspicion when we came forward with information? And what do the authorities plan to do to counter the ongoing threat from the far right? Nick Lowles asks these questions and more in this new article.

Working with people inside far right organisations is a core part of HOPE not hate’s strategy to fight fascism and extremism. The trial brought a lot of that work to light, and for the first time, we expanded on why – and how – we keep track on extremist organisations.

The far right has been beaten at the ballot box but, as the nazi murder plot shows, the far right is increasingly turning to violence, and to street movements. Our work will go on.

The Next National Action

Finishing off National Action was expensive, and the threat of the far right is not going away.

We're asking our most committed supporters to become members of the HOPE Action Fund by signing up to a regular monthly contribution of £5 or more.

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