A neo-Nazi has come out as gay and revealed his Jewish heritage as he publicly rejected the far-right movement.
Kevin Wilshaw was an organiser for the National Front, joined the BNP, and was still speaking at white supremacist rallies at the start of this year.
He said he was arrested for vandalising a mosque in Aylesbury in the early 1990s, and for online race hate offences in March this year.
But Mr Wilshaw now claims to have abandoned his extremist past after experiencing the hate from the other side.
“On one or two occasions in the recent past I’ve actually been the recipient of the very hatred of the people I want to belong to,” he told Channel 4 News.
“If you’re gay it is acceptable in society, but with these group of people it’s not acceptable, and I found on one or two occasions when I was suspected of being gay I was subjected to abuse.”
He added: “It’s a terribly selfish thing to say but it’s true, I saw people being abused, shouted at, spat at in the street – it’s not until it’s directed at you that you suddenly realise that what you’re doing is wrong.”
Mr Wilshaw, who kept items including a Nazi flag and a bust of Adolf Hitler in his home, also spoke of his Jewish mother.
“She was part Jewish, maiden name was Benjamin, we have Jewish blood on that side,” said Mr Wilshaw, who previously wrote of his hatred of “the Jews”.
“That term ‘the Jews’ is the global faceless mass of people you can’t personalise it, not individuals. That’s the generalisation that leads to six million people being deliberately murdered.”
Mr Wilshaw claims to have rejected Nazism, having reached out to former National Front activist Matthew Collins, who now works for the anti-facist group Hope not Hate.
Mr Collins said: “One of things we noticed is there was someone who was struggling, he was becoming more and more extreme.”
“We almost expected the phone call and a cry for help, and that’s what he’s done.”
Asked about his change of heart, Mr Wilshaw said: “I feel appallingly guilty as well, I really do feel guilty, not only that, this is also a barrier to me having a relationship with my own family, and I want to get rid of it, it’s too much of a weight.”
He added: “I want to do some damage as well, not to ordinary people but the people who are propagating this kind of rubbish – want to hurt them, show what it’s like for those who are living a lie and be on the receiving end of this type of propaganda, I want to hurt them.”