NATIONAL Action became the first right wing group to be banned under counter-terrorism laws.

Then Home Secretary Amber Rudd put the neo-Nazi association on the list of proscribed organisations in 2016, three years after it was formed and after the group celebrated the murder of MP Jo Cox.

That move made it a criminal offence to be a member of the group, with several high-profile trials of former members taking place at Birmingham and London crown courts over the past two years.

At the time, Ms Rudd said: “National Action is a racist, antisemitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology. It has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone.

“Proscribing it will prevent its membership from growing, stop the spread of poisonous propaganda and protect vulnerable young people at risk of radicalisation from its toxic views.”

The group had links to Swindon, with members travelling from across the country to meet in the town.

In September 2016 – several months before the group was banned – the Adver reported on a secret meeting that saw members spray racist graffiti on walls behind Westcott Place.

Earlier this year, the Old Bailey heard that future rookie Met Police constable Ben Hannam was one of those to spray offensive designs in Swindon. He was photographed posing in the Locarno building, where National Action members had hosted one of their meetings, and caught on CCTV drinking with other group members at the Yates bar in Swindon town centre.

Hannam also took part in boxing sessions held in a Swindon woodland. But he was not part of indoor sparring sessions in the town organised by Mark Jones, who was jailed for five-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court last year.

Jones’ girlfriend, a ‘Miss Hitler’ beauty pageant hopeful, was jailed for three years. Cutter entered the pageant under the name Miss Buchenwald, referencing the Nazi concentration camp. 

On Friday, Hannam himself was jailed for four years after being found guilty of being a member of National Action between 2016 and September 2017. He was sacked from the Metropolitan Police for gross misconduct.

Separately, Swindon man Ben Raymond, 31, has been charged with membership of National Action between December 2016 and September 2017, and possessing material likely to be useful for terrorism including information about explosives contained on hard drives.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on April 28 and did not indicate pleas to any of the charges. He was given unconditional bail and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on May 14.