|Membership||Estimated at 200, but in sharp decline|
|Leadership||Dave McDonald (chair), Tony Martin (deputy chair)|
|Publications||The Flame, Britain First, The Sentinel, Bulldog (all appear to have ceased publication)|
|Online||A series of websites and Facebook accounts at war with each other|
|Areas active||Across the whole of the UK|
In our previous State of Hate report we questioned whether the NF could stay together given its entangled cliques, gangs and criminal entrepreneurs. In its fifty-year history, the National Front (NF) has experienced countless arguments and schisms but 2016 may well have been its bloodiest and most destructive yet.
Buoyed by an unnerving and quite unfounded belief in itself, it was the National Front that allowed its Kent organiser to call a “unity” demonstration in Dover that was little more than a call to arms for the entire far right to riot. It turned out to be one of the most devastating failures the British far right has suffered in decades and its long term effects are that some 60 far right activists are off the streets and jailed for up to seven years. Many of those imprisoned blamed the NF.
Rumblings about electoral failures and engagements with drug gangs persisted throughout 2016. Some of those who avoided prison for involvement in Dover were involved with other criminality that saw them imprisoned. This included stubbing a cigarette out on a pregnant woman, biting another man’s ear off in a pub and the thirteen-year sentence for its Scarborough organiser after an horrific attack on a disabled woman during a botched burglary. The party’s Liverpool organiser was also sentenced to five years for smuggling amphetamines into the country.
Activists walked away over a number of fallouts about the group’s tie-in with both the North West Infidels (NWI) and National Action (NA).
In the summer, the party removed a number of people from key positions including the deputy chairman Adam Lloyd who was considered too close to the NWI and NA. Lloyd appears to have remained close to the party but the arguments and threats go on.
The party’s Kent organiser, Mark Freeman, announced a ‘White Lives Matter’ march in Margate for October. The party became so divided over a possible physical confrontation with anti-fascists that it split. Freeman, Kevin McMahon and some other peripheral figures were then denounced and expelled, accused of being agents provocateurs.
Interestingly and confusingly, it was McMahon and his wife who had initially been most vocal in their opposition to an NF link with the NWI and NA over their violent antics.
The party’s flagship activity, the march to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, was marked by the absence of a number of activists and members of the leadership, leaving veteran nazi Richard Edmonds to take control on the day.
The old guard of Eddy Morrison, Kev Bryan and Peter Williamson are poised to launch a bid to lead the party again. This will be a relief to the current chairman, Dave McDonald, who has struggled to cope with the spectacularly brilliant schism those very people set in motion two years ago.