The Conservative Party, the British Extreme Right and the Problem of Political Space, 1967–83
The formation of the National Front (NF) at the beginning of 1967 brought together much of the previously disunited extreme right in Britain. The League of Empire Loyalists, led by former Mosleyite A.K. Chesterton, regrouped with the British National Party (BNP) and with members of the Racial Preservation Society and, shortly after, another group, the Greater Britain Movement (GBM), dissolved to enable members to join the new organization. Both the BNP, led by Andrew Fountaine and John Bean, and the GBM, led by John Tyndall and Martin Webster, took the view that Chesterton had given too little attention to elections. Conversely, however, Chesterton and sections of the BNP were united in their initial reluctance to fuse with the Tyndall group which they saw as too overtly sympathetic to National Socialism for a credibly British nationalist movement. Tyndall’s admission represented a suspension of this doubt but the continued exclusion of yet another organization, the National Socialist Movement (subsequently British Movement), was intended to ensure that whatever subterranean sympathies for Nazism existed in National Front circles should at least remain unexpressed in public.
KeywordsPolitical Space Conservative Party Rival Group Nationalist Party National Front
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