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National Action founder convicted of continuing to be a member after ban

Founder of banned terrorist organisation National Action Alex Davies (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Founder of banned terrorist organisation National Action Alex Davies (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The founder of fascist group National Action (NA) has been found guilty of continuing to be a member of the neo-Nazi organisation after it was banned.

Alex Davies, described as the “biggest Nazi of the lot”, was convicted following a trial at Winchester Crown Court of being a member of the proscribed organisation after it was banned on December 16 2016.

The 27-year-old had set up the “continuity group” NS131 with the aim of getting around the ban, which was brought into place after National Action posted “congratulatory” tweets following the murder of MP Jo Cox.

Davies, wearing a blue suit and opened-neck white shirt, nodded his head as the majority verdict, agreed by 11 of the jurors with one disagreeing, was announced by the chairman.

Alex Davies with a megaphone
Alex Davies with a megaphone at National Action demo in York at end of May 2016 (West Midlands Police/PA)

Judge Mark Dennis QC adjourned the case for Davies – the 19th person to be convicted of membership of NA – to be sentenced on June 7 at the Central Criminal Court.

He said: “The defendant must appreciate it’s inevitable a custodial sentence will follow.”

Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, told the jury that NA had “terrorised” towns across the country with its call for an “all-out race war”.

The group was a throwback to Hitler’s Germany and based its logo and image on the Sturmabteilung – the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party, he said.

Davies, who formed NA while at Warwick University in 2013, told an undercover reporter at the time that he did not want to say what he would do to Jews, because it was “so extreme”.

And in 2016 he travelled to Germany where he posed holding an NA flag and giving the Nazi salute in the execution chamber of the Buchenwald concentration camp, causing indignation in the country where Nazi idolisation is illegal.

Following the ban, NA split into regional factions and Davies set up NS131 – which stood for National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action – to cover the southern part of the country and which itself was later banned by the Government.

Comparing the two groups, Mr Jameson said: “The same name – National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action (NS131) – take out the three middle words and you are left with a big clue: National Action.

“Same colours – black and white, colours of Sturmabteilung. Same look of designer Benjamin Raymond, a convicted NA member.

Alex Davies
Alex Davies had denied the new group was a continuation of National Action (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“The same ideology – a throwback to Nazi Germany.

“The same leader – this defendant, who makes it all happen. Same regional structure – adapted and re-drawn following proscription, and so many familiar faces from the old guard.”

He added: “Who was at the centre of all this? The founder, the galvaniser, the recruiter, one Alex Davies of Swansea. He was probably the biggest Nazi of the lot.”

Mr Jameson continued: “The defendant was an extremist’s extremist.”

Davies, from Swansea, told the court that NS131 was not set up as a continuation of NA and had different aims and processes, and he was only “exercising his democratic rights”.

He also told the jury that he was “not a violent” person and he did not believe in the holocaust.

Davies said his aim was for the repatriation of black, ethnic minority and Jewish people from the UK to make it a whites-only country, apart from those carrying out “essential” jobs.

Matthew Collins, head of Intelligence at anti-fascist campaign group HOPE not hate, said: “It took a long time to bring Davies to justice – he acknowledged that himself.

“He has had his finger in the pie of far-right terror and extremism for nearly 10 years. He was on bail for five years. This has taken too long, but we welcome it nonetheless.”

Nick Price, head of the CPS counter terrorism division, said: “It is clear that Davies secretly set up a new right-wing terror group after the ban on National Action and had a leading role in recruiting people to join the group.

“My team has worked hard to prove that he was a willing and important member of National Action, and worked to avoid the ban and keep the racist and hateful views of National Action alive.

“This included travelling thousands of miles to meet new members. I am glad that he has been convicted today for his crimes.”