UK News: Oswald Mosley: The true story of the fascist 'blackshirt' politician, portrayed by Sam Claflin in Peaky Blinders season 5 - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsOswald Mosley: The true story of the fascist 'blackshirt' politician, portrayed by Sam Claflin in Peaky Blinders season 5

20:45  21 august  2019
20:45  21 august  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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Oswald Mosley: The true story of the fascist 'blackshirt' politician, portrayed by Sam Claflin in Peaky Blinders season 5 © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Peaky Blinders is set to return for season 5, in which Sam Claflin takes on the role of controversial politician Oswald Mosley.

Oswald Mosley: The true story of the fascist 'blackshirt' politician, portrayed by Sam Claflin in Peaky Blinders season 5 © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Mosely was famed for founding a fascist movement in Britain with rallies that often descended into violence, but still gathered thousands of followers.

Oswald Mosley: The true story of the fascist 'blackshirt' politician, portrayed by Sam Claflin in Peaky Blinders season 5 © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Here's what you need to know about the real Oswald Mosley.

What was his early life and political journey like?

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley of Ancoats, 6th Baronet, was born in 1896 in Mayfair, London, into an aristocratic family.

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As a young man, he attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and went on to fight in the First World War.

In 1918, he became one of the youngest MPs in history, elected in Harrow when he was 21-years-old - a post he held until 1924.

His military experiences, which included fighting in major battles, shaped his political views and motivated his desire to avoid another war.

Mosley was known for his public speaking skills (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Somewhat unusually, he switched parties numerous times, beginning his political career as a Conservative but eventually crossing the floor as an independent.

In 1924, he joined the Labour Party and the Independent Labour Party, gaining a seat in parliament once again in 1926 as MP for Smethwick.

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He resigned from office in in 1930 after his so-called Mosley Memorandum, which called for various reforms including high intentional trade tariffs and nationalising industries, was rejected.

But he wasn't done with politics yet.

What was his appeal?

He has been described in the past as being both "charismatic" and "arrogant", known for spreading facist messages that won him a number of followers. The Liberal Westminster Gazette described him as a "the most polished literary speaker in the Commons" adding that he had "human sympathies, courage and brains".

Despite at one point being tipped as a possible future prime minister, he later went on to associate with those spreading anti-Semitism, and took inspiration from the likes of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

What was the BUF about?

Mosley went on to form the New Party in 1931, which had little success politically and later the British Union of Fascists (BUF), for which he is best known.

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He was inspired after touring parts of Europe to learn about political movements, including that of Mussolini in Italy. Convinced that this was what Britain needed, he moved to unite existing fascist groups in the BUF. With fiercely nationalistic and racist views, and the power of Mosely as a strong orator at its helm, the group gained more than 40,000 members and the support of some newspapers.

The party adopted its own flag, which was red, white and blue and featured a blot symbol. Inspired by other fascist movements, it also instilled a uniform which earned the group the nickname "The Blackshirts".

It was worn by the paramilitary guards which provide security for its rallies that sometimes led to violence, as well as some members.

A new series of Peaky Blinders is about to hit our screens (Photo: BBC/Caryn Mandabach/Robert Vigla)

The BUF became increasingly radical, and eventually, its anti-Semitic sentiments and mass fights against opponents at rallies, led to backlash and the withdrawal of much of its support.

Its most controversial moments included the Battle of Cable Street in London's East End, in which the group clashed with anti-fascist groups and police. The Blackshirt uniforms were eventually banned.

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During WWII, Mosley was interned for some time - a fate that other befell numerous fascists - and the BUF essentially fell apart on the national stage.

Anything else I should know about him?

He was married twice, first to Lady Cynthia Curzon, and is believed to have had multiple affairs throughout the marriage.

After she died, he remarried to Diana Mitford, and the pair had Adolf Hitler as a at their wedding in Germany.

One of their children was Max Mosley who went on to become a Formula 1 boss. After the war, Mosley senior formed another political group called the Union Movement, and tried to push for Europe to be turned into a single state.

After little success, he left the country, moving to Ireland and then France, where he died in 1977.

When can I watch the new Peaky Blinders?

Series five, episode one (titled, ‘Black Tuesday‘) of Peaky Blinders will air at 9pm, Sunday 25 August on BBC One and will be available afterwards on iPlayer.

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