National Action: Banned ‘neo-Nazi’ group graffiti found in Hampstead pub

The graffiti Cllr Cooper found in Hampstead Picture: Oliver Cooper

The graffiti Cllr Cooper found in Hampstead Picture: Oliver Cooper - Credit: Archant

Graffiti naming a racist far-right group set to be banned by the home secretary was recently found in a Hampstead pub.

Amber Rudd said National Action is a “racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology” that has no place in Britain. From today it will be a crime to join or support the group.

But Cllr Oliver Cooper, who represents Hampstead Town ward, said he discovered the organisation’s name written on a toilet in South End Road’s Garden Gate pub two weeks ago.

Cllr Cooper said: “Unknown to most, National Action is one of the most vicious neo-Nazi groups in the UK, holding rallies with banners saying ‘Hitler was right’. Hopefully, the government’s action in banning this horrific neo-Nazi group will raise awareness of the threat of virulent, violent anti-Semitism.”

He added: “Hatred of the Jewish people is often, sadly, found bubbling under the surface of society, as we’ve seen in the rise of the ‘alt-right’: a euphemism often used by neo-Nazis, especially in the wake of Trump’s victory in the US. We need a zero-tolerance approach and swift, stern action to tackle it in whatever form it’s found.”

Cllr Cooper said the graffiti was immediately scrubbed off by the pub’s staff and the premises searched to ensure no more was present.

A member of staff at the Garden Gate told the Ham&High she was disgusted by the graffiti and stressed it had no place in the pub – “or anywhere else”.

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On its website, National Action explains that a “white Britain” is its ultimate aim and its philosophy is “national socialism”.

But on November 30, the group said in a statement that the idea it could be banned was “below discussion on grounds of extreme ignorance” because it “neither sanction[s] or endorse[s] terrorism”.

Its website also carries the phrase “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”, which was used in court by Thomas Mair, who murdered Jo Cox MP in June.

Members of the group often photograph themselves in all-black attire with balaclavas.

It referred to American president-elect Donald Trump as “Trumpenfuhrer” and praised his November election victory.