Scottish far-right group could become second neo-Nazi organisation in Britain to be banned

  • Additional reporting by ITV News Specialist Producer Becky Kelly

A far-right group in Scotland which describes itself as "a patriotic society for the defence of our race and nation" could become the second neo-Nazi organisation in Britain to be banned under proposals being weighed up by Whitehall officials.

Scottish Dawn was established earlier this year shortly after another group, National Action (NA), was classified as a terrorist organisation by the Home Secretary.

NA was outlawed because its members celebrated the murder of the MP Jo Cox.

But suspicions that some its followers have simply swapped membership of one extremist organisation for another to circumvent the ban have prompted the Home Office to consider whether the new group should be outlawed too.

I understand that politicians and officials have yet to decide whether the actions of Scottish Dawn have reached the threshold that must be met to make it a criminal offence to join or support the group.

Although they consider Scottish Dawn to be one of the most dangerous organisations to emerge during a recent rise in far-right activity, officials are obliged to first consider whether proscription would be proportionate.

Scottish Dawn uses the slogan 'blood and soil', a Nazi philosophy. Credit: Instagram

Scottish Dawn's first public appearance was at a demonstration about housing for refugees in Alloa in March.

Members waved bright yellow flags displaying a black symbol known as the “life rune”, which was also used in Nazi propaganda.

ITV News spoke to protesters who enthusiastically denied having any links to NA.

“National Action? What are you talking about?”

“Never heard of them."

Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair in 2016. Credit: PA

But since then, investigators have been closely studying the group’s activities.

One police source claims that some members have already stopped waving the Scottish Dawn from flag at public events for fear it might attract the attention of the security services.

Scottish Dawn’s website does not refer to violence or white supremacy, but invokes a Nazi philosophy by using the slogan “blood and soil”, which implies that ethnicity is based solely on blood descent.

The rallying cry was chanted by white nationalists during the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.

Investigators believe National Action has followed what could be called "the al-Muhajiroun model".

Once Anjem Choudary’s network was classified as a terror group in 2004, some of its members simply dropped the group’s name to dodge the restrictions placed on it.

Choudary frustrated authorities for years, flouting the ban by rebranding his group. He was jailed last year.

Choudary was jailed for his activities to support for the Islamic State terror group. Credit: PA

The Home Office refused to comment on whether they are considering proscribing Scottish Dawn.

Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry McLean, who heads Police Scotland's Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism Unit (OCCTU), said: "National Action is the first domestic extremist group to have been proscribed by the Home Secretary and there is no place in Scotland for these types of extreme right wing views.

"Where we identify instances of new groups or individuals who have broken away from National Action we will work with partners and our communities to target and disrupt those involved."