A former National Front organiser and prominent neo-Nazi has denounced the far-right movement and expressed a commitment to fighting racism after revealing he is gay and of Jewish heritage.
Kevin Wilshaw, 58, has promoted white supremacism since he was a teenager and worked with a number of extremist groups for decades. He joined the National Front during the group’s heyday in the late 1970s, and later the British National party, before becoming a “freelance extremist” who flirted with a string of violent fringe groups such as the Racial Volunteer Force.
Wilshaw was arrested this year on suspicion of online race hate offences and was referred to the Prevent deradicalisation programme. Currently on bail, he has admitted to acts of violence and racism including smashing a chair over a man’s head in Leeds and vandalising a mosque in Aylesbury in the early 90s.
In an interview with Channel 4 News, he said he had decided to publicly renounce the far right, which he claimed to have joined because he “didn’t have many friends at school” and “wanted to be a member of a group” that had an aim.
He said: “Even though you end up being a group of people that through their own extreme views are cut off from society, you do have a sense of comradeship in that you’re a member of a group that’s being attacked by other people.”
Wilshaw said he had decided to quit after receiving abuse from within the far-right movement over his sexuality. “It’s a terribly selfish thing to say but it’s true,” he said. “I saw people being abused, shouted at, spat at in the street. It’s not until it’s directed at you that you suddenly realise what you’re doing is wrong.” Read more via the Guardian