The real neo-Nazi terror conspiracy behind new Stephen Graham drama The Walk-In

OOn July 1, 2017, Jack Renshaw walked into a Wetherspoons in Warrington, sat down and told his friends he was about to murder an MP.

The then 22-year-old was part of the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action and wanted to get other members’ opinions on his planned attack.

Renshaw told them how he would murder Rosie Cooper, his local Labor MP, with a machete and then take hostages.

He wanted to lure a police officer who was investigating him into child molestation, murder her in revenge and force armed police officers to shoot him.

Among the six other National Action members listening was Robbie Mullen. Unknown to Jack Renshaw and the rest of the terrorist group, he had already become an informant for the anti-extremist organization Hope Not Hate.

“I kind of saved myself because I knew something was going to happen eventually,” he says The Independent. “Things just kept getting weirder – especially with Jack.”

Mr Mullen, now 28, said the would-be terrorist announced his plan “immediately” after arriving at the National Action meeting at the Friar Penketh pub.

“We just walked in and he told us,” he adds. “He had come to say goodbye because he was planning to die next week.”

Renshaw had researched Ms Cooper’s itinerary, knowing that political events in the constituencies were not being monitored and would be an easy target, as Jo Cox had been the year before.

He had bought a Roman-style sword online – marketed as “19 inches of unprecedented penetrative and slashing power at a bargain price” – and performed a series of Google searches to learn how to kill people and how long it would take until someone dies after having their throat cut.

Mr Mullen said no one at the table tried to dissuade Renshaw from his plan. A member of National Action told him not to “screw it up” and others threw in alternative targets such as the Home Secretary or a synagogue.

“He was like, ‘No, no, I’ve got everything planned out, I know what I’m doing,'” recalls the former mole. “He would definitely go and try.”

Renshaw never got the chance. Mr Mullen alerted Hope Not Hate who contacted Labor MP Ruth Smeeth who alerted Ms Cooper and anti-terror police rushed in.

The foiling of the plot and the events leading up to it are the subject of a new ITV drama entitled The walk in.

Actor Stephen Graham plays Matthew Collins, who was Mr. Mullen’s contact on Hope Not Hate, while his role will be filled by Andrew Ellis.

Mr Collins, who wrote a book of the same name to accompany the series, says the biggest change is the replacement of his South London accent with Graham’s native Scouse.

Stephen Graham as Matthew Collins in ITV drama The Walk In (ITV)

(PA Media)

“My mom looked at the trailer and said, ‘Why does he have to do that with that stupid accent?'” he says The Independent. “I said ‘that’s just a Liverpool accent mum’.”

Watching her life on the small screen has been an odd experience for the couple, who began collaborating about five and a half years ago.

Mr Mullen wanted to defect from National Action, which became increasingly terrorist-leaning following a 2016 government ban.

It conducted clandestine combat training in the North West as a growing number of members began to prepare for what they believed to be an inevitable race war in Britain.

“Everyone was suspicious and things were getting weird, so I just saved myself,” he says.

Renshaw was quickly arrested after Mr Mullen sounded the alarm, but members did not immediately suspect a mole was in their midst, assuming it was linked to an earlier investigation into racist speech.

He had hidden another National Action investigation into the online grooming of underage boys and planned to kill the officer in charge of that investigation.

Mr Mullen believes Renshaw’s planned attack was aimed in part at ensuring he was not publicly exposed as a paedophile, adding: “If he had never been charged with this it would never have been mentioned… he would have just been that person who left and killed an MP or a policewoman or whatever he would have ended up doing. That’s all he would have been known for and I think he was happy to be known for it.”

In the end, Renshaw admitted to preparing an act of terrorism and issuing death threats.

He was also convicted on four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and inciting racial hatred through public speaking.

The failed terror instigator is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum sentence of 20 years.

Jack Renshaw was ridiculed for a post as BNP youth leader in 2014, in which he expressed concerns his dog was gay

(EDL News/Twitter)

Mr. Mullen felt that the alert about Renshaw’s plan was “closed” and to disguise his involvement he continued to attend National Action meetings.

But counterterrorism police, now armed with conclusive evidence the terrorist group had continued to operate despite a 2016 ban, had bigger ambitions than Renshaw.

Under pressure, he signed an immunity agreement in exchange for testifying against his former friends and comrades.

When waves of police action arrested them but Mr Mullen remained at large, some realized he had turned informant and he fled his home after receiving numerous warnings that his life was in danger.

Despite his actions in foiling Renshaw’s plan, he has reason to believe he remains on the security services radar after being stopped at airports under terrorism laws.

But he has no regrets reporting Renshaw and is adamant he would have continued the attack, saying: “I think he would have done it this week, or at least tried. You can never tell what would have happened.”

Mr Collins and his family have also had to relocate for their own safety, and a National Action leader told him: “You should watch your back for the rest of your life.”

He is no stranger to taking extreme risks, having spent decades working to dismantle the far-right groups he was a part of.

Mr Collins spent time in the British National Party, National Front and the neo-Nazi group Combat 18 before starting to work for anti-racism magazine Searchlight.

He specializes in persuading extremists to become an informant for Hope Not Hate, and his work is the focus of his new book The walk in.

“All the conspiracy and hate often starts with a reasonable complaint that people can’t address,” says Mr Collins.

“A Nazi doesn’t jump out of the bush and say, ‘Think like that.’ There is no point in saying that we must confront groups unless we fight the causes behind them.”

He says many of the neo-Nazis he dealt with in National Action and other groups were “corrupted” and sucked into “alternative truths,” and warns, “The smaller and less helpful the state gets, the bigger it gets.” threat becomes far right.”

The walk in is broadcast on ITV on Monday for five consecutive weeks. Mr Collins’ book of the same name will be released on October 4th. The real neo-Nazi terror conspiracy behind new Stephen Graham drama The Walk-In


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