The Crown Prosecution Service has decided to prosecute National Action’s former spokesman, Jack Renshaw, after lawyers for Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to declare our intention to launch a private prosecution.
After waiting more than a year without taking action against Renshaw, the Crown Prosecution Service has now charged him after our pro bono legal team, led by Jonathan Mann QC and Pamela Reddy, partner at Simons Muirhead & Burton solicitors, wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions telling her that unless she took action, Campaign Against Antisemitism would step in and undertake the prosecution ourselves.
Renshaw, 22, was the spokesman for pro-Hitler group National Action until the Home Secretary designated National Action a proscribed terrorist organisation, at the culmination of a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
In a video of one of Renshaw’s speeches in March last year, he is heard to say: “Now, the refugee problem is part of a bigger problem. It’s a symptom of a disease. That disease is international Jewry. In World War Two, we took the wrong side. We should have been fighting the communists. Instead, we took the side of the communists, and fought the National Socialists who were there to remove Jewry from Europe once and for all. That’s what the Final Solution was. Instead, we let these parasites live among us, and they still do. They get into our councils, they get into our institutions, they get into our parliament, they run our banks, they run all of the companies we see around us. But we let these people, we let these people destroy us, and they are still destroying us now. And we’re pointing fingers at the symptoms and not the disease. Let’s cure the disease and then cure all of the symptoms by default…You can call me Nazi, you can call me fascist, that is what I am.”
Echoing his normal rhetoric, a Twitter account allegedly operated by Renshaw was used to attack Jews, with one tweet on Boxing Day last year declaring: “Jews are financial and cultural parasites, destroying Europe. Let’s actually start the ovens this time. #Holohoax #WithJewsWeLose #NSForever”. Another tweet claimed that the Holocaust was a hoax: “2.4 million Jews were living in Nazi territories, 3.8 million of those Jews applied for reparations and 6 million died? #BasicMath #Holohoax”.
Though we are dismayed that it has taken so long for the authorities to take action against Renshaw, we are pleased that he has now been charged, and we will follow the trial with interest.
The real question is why Campaign Against Antisemitism needed to become involved at all. Last year there were a pitiful twenty prosecutions for antisemitism, despite rising hate crime targeting Jews. In this case we have succeeded in ensuring that the Crown Prosecution Service took action, but even with our legal interventions through means such as private prosecution and judicial review, far too few cases are being prosecuted. In the absence of law enforcement, antisemitism will continue to spread, antisemites will become bolder, and attacks on Jews will become more common and more ferocious. The Crown Prosecution Service must arise from its slumber and start prosecuting antisemites in meaningful numbers.
We are very grateful to our legal team for its work on this matter.