|Born||1939 (age 78–79)
|Alma mater||Stamford Secondary School, Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Known for||Far-right activist turned mole|
|Notable work||The Other Face of Terror- Inside Europe's Neo-Nazi Network (1988)|
|Title||Deputy leader of the British Movement|
|Political party||British Movement
South African National Front
British National Party
|Movement||Racial Preservation Society|
|Children||Suzanne Shapcott-Hall, Charles Hill|
Ray Hill (born 1939) was a leading figure in the British far right who went on to become a well-known informant. A sometime deputy leader of the British Movement and a founder member of the British National Party, Hill also secretly worked for Searchlight in feeding information about the groups' activities.
Born in Mossley, Lancashire, Hill was educated at the local Church of England primary school and in Stamford Secondary School, Ashton-under-Lyne until his family moved to Leicester in 1955. He spent three years in the army and then worked in various labouring jobs. He married his wife Glennis in June 1966 and their first daughter Susan was born a year later.
Hill made his first steps in the far right in the latter 1960s with a local group called the Anti-Immigration Society (AIMS), promptly switching to the larger Racial Preservation Society to which AIMS was closely linked. From here he met Colin Jordan and soon became a member of the British Movement, being appointed Organiser for Leicester in 1968 as well as Jordan's election agent for his campaign in the 1969 Birmingham Ladywood by-election. Although his wife largely tolerated his political involvement, Hill's arrest for actual bodily harm in late 1969 led to his disengagement and the couple deciding to emigrate.
Hill emigrated to South Africa the following year and became disabused of his former views after becoming friendly with members of South Africa's Jewish community. He was asked by a friend to infiltrate the South African National Front, an organisation for ex-pat whites, eventually rising to the chairmanship as well as undertaking a series of speaking engagements for the Afrikaans Herstigte Nasionale Party (a radical breakaway from the ruling National Party).
Return to Britain
Hill returned to Leicester in 1980 where he became associated with Anthony Reed Herbert, initially in the National Front, then in the British Democratic Party. Hill didn't actually join either group; instead he renewed his membership in the British Movement. Around this time Hill also began to work in secret for Searchlight, helping to foil an alleged gun-running plot by the BDP. Hill's presence as a double agent in the BM also ensured that their activities were disrupted and that they were subject to several police investigations regarding allegations of planned violence.
By then deputy leader of the BM, Hill clashed with leader Michael McLaughlin in 1982 and succeeded in splitting the party. Hill, a former boxer in the army with a reputation as a street fighter, had the support of the BM's large skinhead following and took them with him when he joined in the newly launched British National Party in 1982 (also convincing Reed Herbert to bring his BDP on board). Indeed, Hill claimed that he had contacted BNP leader John Tyndall, at the time leading a group called the New national Front, as early as 1981 to discuss forming a new united party. Hill contended that he hoped to bring disparate far-right groups together to sabotage their activity and that ultimately he hoped to challenge Tyndall for the leadership and fight a dirty and highly divisive campaign to increase the sabotage. Hill's activities on behalf of the BNP included a June 1982 attempted takeover of the BBC radio show Any Questions? when Hill and some supporters disrupted a broadcast by shouting pro-BNP slogans from the audience. In the 1983 general election, he contested Leicester West for the BNP, receiving 469 votes (1.0%).
Revealed as a mole
Hill revealed himself to be a 'mole' in 1984 in a documentary for Channel 4 which focused on the links between the British far right and international terrorism, as well as plots to launch bomb attacks in London, said to have been planned by the National Socialist Action Party. Column 88 and the League of St. George were also heavily implicated in Hill's claims. As well as the British far-right, Hill's revelations also included claims about terrorist involvement of their Italian counterparts and Fédération d'action nationale et européenne leader Mark Fredriksen. Hill's revelations sent shockwaves through the British far-right and encourage a culture of suspicion. Indeed, soon afterwards when Joe Pearce approached Tyndall about bringing the Young National Front en bloc to the BNP, Tyndall rejected his overtures for fear that Pearce might also be a "mole".
Hill became a regular columnist for Searchlight from then on, and in 1988 published a book about his experiences, The Other Face of Terror, with the journalist Andrew Bell. Called as a witness before the European Parliament's Commission on Racism and Xenophobia, Hill's evidence included the claim that within the neo-Nazi underground a system of "brown aid" existed for fugitives and those defined by the movement as political prisoners. Hill contended that he personally had been involved in "safehousing" several far right Italian fugitives during his political involvement.
|Date of election||Constituency||Party||Votes||%|
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 23–25
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 25–26
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 27
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 29–32
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 36–39
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 39–40
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 52–73
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 97–115
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 101–115
- Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity, New York University Press, 2003, p. 40
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 120–147
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 165–181
- Nigel Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 23-24
- Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism, p. 30
- The Guardian, 11 June 1983
- Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp 281–283
- Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918–1985, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 288
- Geoffrey Harris, The Dark Side of Europe: The Extreme Right Today, Edinburgh University Press, 1994, pp. 125–127
- Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism, p. 29
- Martin A. Lee, The Beast Reawakens, Warner Books, 1997, p. 204
- Lee, The Beast Reawakens, p. 206
- J.S.O.C and the Josephine Butler lecture series present: Ray Hill
- R. Hill & A. Bell, The Other Face of Terror- Inside Europe's Neo-Nazi Network, London: Collins, 1988
- Can Fascists Recant? at the Wayback Machine (archived 8 May 2009)
- Ray Hill's Speech at The Cambridge Union Society (audio recording)