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Neo-Nazi rally held in Cambridgeshire

Published 07/10/2016

Blood and Honour rally took place in Haddenham, near Ely, to mark the anniversary of the death of founder Ian Stuart Donaldson
Blood and Honour rally took place in Haddenham, near Ely, to mark the anniversary of the death of founder Ian Stuart Donaldson

A three-day neo-Nazi rally has been held in a field in Cambridgeshire despite a ban in other countries around Europe and in Russia.

The international white supremacist group Blood and Honour organised the gathering at Haddenham, near Ely, to mark the anniversary of the death of founder Ian Stuart Donaldson.

Mr Donaldson died in a car crash on September 24 1993.

A number of banning orders against the group are in place in countries including Germany and Russia due to imagery used at concerts and links to violent extremism, but no such ban is in place in the UK.

An East Cambridgeshire District Council spokesman said: "A temporary event notice was filed online for a 'private party with music'."

Only police and environmental services can oppose a temporary event notice, if they believe it would undermine a licensing objective.

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed officers were aware of the "possible right wing element" and conducted risk assessments rather than oppose the event, and the temporary event notice was permitted.

Police had also been told the gathering would feature music and would be in aid of the Help for Heroes charity, though the charity has said it was unaware of the event, the event was not registered and the charity would not accept donations from extremist groups.

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It is thought the majority of around 350 attendees came from countries where Blood and Honour is banned.

Matthew Collins, from the Hope Not Hate campaign group, said: "It's an attraction for foreign Nazis to attend a concert in the UK."

Blood and Honour - or Blut and Ehre - was also the motto of the Hitler Youth, which was the youth organisation of the Nazi Party in Germany
Blood and Honour - or Blut and Ehre - was also the motto of the Hitler Youth, which was the youth organisation of the Nazi Party in Germany

He said it was "disappointing" the event had gone ahead on the weekend of Saturday September 24.

Mr Donaldson was the founder of skinhead band Skrewdriver and Blood and Honour took its name from one of the band's albums.

Blood and Honour - or Blut and Ehre - was also the motto of the Hitler Youth, which was the youth organisation of the Nazi Party in Germany.

After his death, Mr Donaldson became a martyr among neo-Nazis, Mr Collins said.

He said there were only around 250 neo-Nazis in the UK, and most attendees would have come from countries such as Germany, Poland and Holland as they were drawn to the UK, where Mr Donaldson was born.

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "There was a three-day music event held over the weekend before last in a private field near Haddenham, with the owner's permission.

"We had been in contact with other police forces about similar events and were aware of the possible right wing element.

"Senior officers planned and implemented a response proportionate to the risk.

"We worked with the organisers and land owner and the event took place without any disorder or crime being committed."

No formal complaints had been received by police and no offences were being investigated.

A spokesman for Help for Heroes said: "Help for Heroes is strictly non-political; we simply want to help our wounded.

"This event was not registered with the charity and we do not accept donations from extremist groups.

"Donations made by this group will be rejected."

Blood and Honour has been approached for comment.

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