British Union of Fascists

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The British Union of Fascists was a Fascist political party founded in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley. It advocated an Italian model of Fascism, but accompanied this with Nazi-style antisemitism and a propensity for street violence. This culminated in the notorious Olympia Rally of 1934 (held at London's Olympia hall). As anti-Fascist hecklers interrupted Mosley's speech, they were picked out by searchlights and dragged out by uniformed Fascists for a beating. Disgust at this, and subsequent incidents of Fascist violence, led to the passing of the 1936 Public Order Act, which banned the wearing of political uniforms. Popular opposition to Fascism also grew, and was demonstrated most effectively at the October 1936 Battle of Cable Street, when local people and other anti-Fascists blocked the route of a Fascist march through a largely Jewish neighbourhood in east London.

The BUF was banned in May 1940, and Mosley, his wife, and other Fascist leaders were interned.