Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 53

National Front (NF) - Former

party political neo conservative

A strongly nationalist political party in Britain which centres its political programme on opposition to immigration, and calls for the repatriation of ethnic minorities even if they were born in the UK. The party was created in 1960 by the merger of the White Defence League and the National Labour Party, and in its early years was a small neo-Nazi grouping. In the mid- and late 1970s it had some minor impact in elections and its membership grew. It tried to develop a more respectable face and recruited some members from the right of the Conservative Party to widen its base beyond hard-line neo-fascists. Its political appeal declined with the election of a Conservative government in 1979, and it has largely withdrawn from any move to enter the mainstream of politics. Many of the Front's leaders are avowedly racist and anti-semitic, and many of those associated with the party are widely believed to be involved in racial and latterly football violence. In common with many extreme parties, it has suffered a number of schisms, but makes occasional gains in local elections.

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