British National Socialism:

From the 1930’s to the Present Day


By The Sunwheel Office

National Socialism has been an element of British politics since the beginning of the 1930’s and has evolved and developed over the decades. While the German National Socialists of the NSDAP provided the model, British National Socialism retained its own unique style and form of expression, reflecting the differences in national character and interpretation of National Socialist ideology.

The Imperial Fascist League: 1929 – 1940

Founded in 1929 by Arnold Leese, based on the principle of “racial Fascism” rather than total National Socialism. Leese adopted the Swastika after initially using the fasces as the IFL symbol.

The IFL developed strong links with the NSDAP in Germany across the 1930's, particularly with Gauleiter Julius Streicher and his newspaper Der Sturmer. However, Arnold Leese remained steadfastly British in his outlook and retained this position after 1945 up to his death in the 1950's.

The British Union of Fascists and National Socialists

In 1936, Sir Oswald Mosley expanded the name of the British Union of Fascists to incorporate the growing body of British National Socialists within the ranks of the BUF.

The National Socialist League: 1937 – 1940

Founded by William Joyce, John Beckett and John MacNab after William Joyce was dismissed from his staff position in the BUF. The NSL had a small office in London and produced a newspaper called The Helmsman, as well as booklets and pamphlets written by William Joyce, such as National Socialism Now (1937). The NSL motto was 'Steer Straight!'

Surprisingly the NSL did not use the swastika as its primary emblem.

There were other smaller and short-lived National Socialist groupings across the 1930s, usually composed of disaffected BUF supporters or pro-NSDAP elements in Britain who disagreed on ideology or strategy with Sir Oswald Mosley and Arnold Leese.


The National Socialist Movement: 1962-1968

Founded by Colin Jordan and John Tyndall in April 1962, after the split in the original British National Party. The core group of the NSM was originally centered around the Spearhead cadre that had resigned en masse from the BNP.

The NSM was overtly National Socialist; it was based at “Arnold Leese House” at 74 Princedale Road, London.

The NSM gained notoriety for the July 1962 Trafalgar Square rally, the Cotswold camp which saw the emergence of the WUNS – World Union of National Socialists – and the Spearhead Trial, 1962.

The NSM brought the swastika back onto British streets and generated a huge amount of media interest across its lifetime, far beyond its size and impact.

British Movement: 1968 - Present Day

Founded by Colin Jordan after the winding down of the NSM in May 1968. British Movement was formally launched in the June/July period of the Summer of 1968.

A small faction of the NSM declined to join BM and re-formed as the short-lived NSG - the National Socialist Group.

Colin Jordan resigned from BM in 1975 and was succeeded by the BM National Secretary Michael McLaughlin, who led BM until the September of 1983.

* * *

Contrary to what is listed on Wikipedia and similar information services and in some political reference books, BM did not fold or disband, but the surviving elements re-grouped around the “1984 Committee” which re-set BM's agenda and directed the re-organization of BM and the official core group British National Socialist Movement (BNSM) up to the present day.

Other British NS Groups

There have been other short lived NS groups in the UK since the middle of the 1980's, some have been serious attempts at developing an openly National Socialist organizations, others have been more concerned with the shock value of the swastika and the desire of individuals to dress up in “Hollywood Nazi” style uniforms.

In no particular order and with no specific attribution of intent or agenda these groups have included: the National Socialist Workers' Initiative (from the late 1970s to the early 1980s). Among those involved with the NSWI was Roland Kerr-Richie. Also, the National Socialist Party of the United Kingdom (NSPUK), National Socialist Alliance (linked to Combat 18), National Socialist Movement (1990's version), November 9th Society - British Nazi Party, NSM Britannia (linked to NSM in the USA).



Source: This article first appeared on The Northland Forum, a blog published in support of the British National Socialist Movement, on April 6, 2014.




Footnote by the NEW ORDER: Several important British National Socialist books and publications also deserve mention. Among these are Twilight over England by William Joyce (1940), published from his self-imposed exile in Germany. Likewise noteworthy is Arnold Leese’s newsletter Gothic Ripples, issued from June 1945 through Leese’s death in 1956. Leese was also the author of the first post-World War II National Socialist book, The Jewish War of Survival (1946).


Colin Jordan later revived Gothic Ripples. He published his iteration of it from December 1979 until his death in 2004. In 1993, a selection of Jordan’s writings was published in book form as National Socialism: Vanguard of the Future.