The reformed neo-Nazi whose experiences inspired Stephen Graham’s new TV drama risked his life to stop fascists – and says it was worth it.
Former National Front and BNP boot-boy Matthew Collins turned whistleblower to help root out dangerous right-wing radicals, but says more need to be done. Police have warned him he faces being shot and he has been battered on the street for informing on the groups.
But his work exposed Jack Renshaw’s bid to hack Labour MP Rosie Cooper to death with a 19in ‘Gladiator machete’. And he said: “At the end of the day, people always ask if it was worth it. I think yes. I hope some way I’ve helped make this country a safer and better place to live.”
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Matthew’s story has been made into a five-part drama The Walk In, airing on ITV from Monday, October 3. Renshaw’s murderous plot to slaughter the Lancashire MP was foiled by Matt, now 50, during his work for anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate.
Renshaw, 27, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, was a convicted child sex offender, terrorist and former spokesperson for the banned far-right group National Action. He was handed a life sentence for a minimum of 20 years in May 2019 for preparing to kill his local MP Ms Cooper and threatening to kill a police officer who was investigating him for grooming young boys.
The Walk In centres on Robbie Mullen – an informant for the antifascism campaign group Hope Not hate – and how the organisation infiltrated NA and prevented the attack.
Matthew told us: “We run 22 informants in the far-right now. Wherever they have a meeting or wherever they go, we have someone telling us about it.
“They are mostly idiots, but they are still dangerous as they are taking lessons in bomb making from the likes of manuals like The Anarchist’s Cookbook, and making devices that are still effective.
“But the police are totally misunderstanding where the far-right is coming from now. Yes, there is the football hooligan element, but a lot of them are anti-royalist and anti-loyalist.
“These sad, angry young men see it as part of an establishment. They will go overseas and learn how to shoot guns like AK47s, which isn’t much use back in leafy England.
“But they can still make crude guns which are effective.”
Matthew was forced to flee Britain and go into hiding in the 1990s when he became a mole from within the BNP, but now lives back in the UK battling British-based fascists.
He joined the NF while growing up in a tough, deprived part of south London with high unemployment, and fell for their recruitment drive of disillusioned young men.
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Matt warned: “The cost of living crisis is likely to drive more young men into the far-right, and they will blame all their troubles on migrants.
“They have never had the intellect to focus their anger on the establishment or corporations like the energy companies, and their anger is likely to grow now.”
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