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A. K. Chesterton
Arthur Keneth Chesterton (1896 — August 16, 1973) was an ultra right-wing politician and journalist, instrumental in founding a number of right-wing organisations in Britain, primarily in opposition to the break-up of the British Empire, and later adopting a broader anti-immigration stance. As of 2004, one of these organizations, the right-wing National Front is still active.
He was the cousin of author G. K. Chesterton.
Born in England, Chesterton was taken with his family to South Africa as a boy and did not return to England until the late 1920s. He had served during the First World War as a member of the Durban Light Infantry and was awarded the Military Cross. He joined the British Union of Fascists in 1933, becoming the director of Publicity and Propaganda as well as the chief organiser for the Midlands. Initially a strong admirer of Oswald Mosley he left the BUF in 1938.
Following his departure from the BUF Chesterton continued his involvement in far-right politics by joining the Nordic League and serving as the editor of Lord Lymington's right-wing journal, the New Pioneer . He served in East Africa during Second World War but returned to Britain in 1944 to launch the short lived National Front after Victory Group.
After the Second World War he lived in Africa for a short time, after which point he returned to Britain where he established the League of Empire Loyalists in 1954. The League was a pressure group campaigning against the increasing dissolution of the British Empire, and was well-known at the time for its various stunts at Conservative Party meetings and conferences (acting as a constant irritation to the party). These stunts included hiding underneath the speaker platform overnight to emerge during the conference in order to put across their points. The League found support from a number of Conservative Party members, although they were disliked very much by the leadership.
He also founded and edited the right-wing magazine Candour. Chesterton went on to co-found the National Front in 1967, an organization that continues to operate today (2004). Chesterton was leader for only a short time, although he made several attempts to keep the party free from national socialist extremists. Upon his stepping down the first of several long, inter-factional disputes took place within the NF which frequently coloured its policies in ways of which Chesterton did not approve. Today the NF describes itself as a "White nationalist organisation founded in 1967 in opposition to multi-racialism and immigration", although the term "multi-racialism" was not in common usage in 1967.
Amongst Chesterton's written works are Portrait of a Leader (1937), a hagiography of Mosley, Why I left Mosley (1938), which broke from his earlier work, The Tragedy of Anti-Semitism (1948) in which he distanced himself from this form of prejudice and The New Unhappy Lords, a diatribe against international finance.
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