Executive Summary

17 02 19

The state of Britain today

a sea of people protesting against Brexit in London
© Getty Images
  • Britain is increasingly divided and that is likely to increase whatever the Brexit outcome
  • The way Parliament has handled the Brexit process has deepened the poor attitude many hold towards our politicians. 68% now say that there is not a political party that speaks for them and 55% think the political system is broken
  • Anti-Muslim prejudice has replaced immigration as the key driver of far right growth, however after six years of increasingly positive views, attitudes towards immigration in Britain are deteriorating


police cordoning off Westminster Palace after the 2017 terrorist attack
© Getty Images
  • While the numbers arrested for terror-related offences in 2018 was down on the previous year, we are witnessing a growing threat of far right terrorism
  • The threat of far right terrorism comes from both organised groups, like National Action, 
but also from lone actors who get radicalised via the internet
  • Over 25 Al-Muhajiroun activists have been released from prison in the last 12 months, including most of its leadership

The far right

far right group Generation Identity protesting outside a building in Germany

  • The extreme far right is getting more extreme and younger
  • The far right is successfully tapping into the political rage and discontent that is prevalent in society.
  • A narrative of ‘betrayal’ and ‘traitors’ increasingly dominates the far right’s discourse, with much of their anger focused on MPs – and female MPs in particular.
  • Continued decline of the traditional ideological far-right and the rise of an emotionally driven, conspiratorial populist message
  • UKIP has become a far right party under the leadership of Gerard Batten
  • Continued increase in internationalisation of ideas, tactics, money and collaborative working
  • The adoption of the ‘free speech’ narrative by the far right has enabled them to deflect from their own extremism and attract a more mainstream audience

Stephen Lennon

a picture of far right thug Stephen Yaxley-Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson looking angry

  • 55% of Britons have heard of Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon)
  • Of those, 37% have seen or heard one of his videos on social media. This rises to 57% of 18-24 year olds
  • Only 6% of Britons have a positive view of Lennon

Online hate

a keyboard with the word "hate" written on it

  • Five of the 10 far right activists with the biggest social media reach in the world are British
  • There’s been a continued rising trend in traffic to far-right websites and followers of far-right social media accounts, although increasing moderation by social media companies seems to have slowed down, and in individual cases reverted, the explosive increase we saw last year


someone holding a placard which says "no more mosques"

  • The 2017 terrorist attacks have had a lasting negative impact on attitudes towards British Muslims
  • 49% of 2017 Conservative voters think that Islam is incompatible to the British way of life and 47% think there are no go areas in Britain where sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter


a picture with many strips of paper explaining what antisemitism is

  • Left-wing antisemitism is a very real problem. While extreme antisemitism and Holocaust
 Denial is less common, a larger number engage in conspiratorial antisemitism and use antisemitic tropes, especially in relation to supposed Jewish power and an even larger group are involved in denying a problem exists and dismissing the issue as a right wing and Zionist smear
  • Labour is still not doing enough to tackle antisemitism


a folder which says "investigation"

  • We expose the increasing influence of the Order of Nine Angles, the world’s most extreme nazi-satanist group, on a young generation of violent nazis including National Action and the Sonnenkrieg Division
  • We reveal an illegal steroids factory run by Polish nazis living in London
  • We examine both Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups
  • We investigate the manosphere and the growing anti-feminist movement

Prospects for 2019

UKIP leader Gerard Batten speaking at the UKIP conference
© Getty Images
  • We are likely to see a resurgence of a far-right electoral threat
  • A strong far-right vote in the European Elections will give a boost to the far right and populist right in the UK
  • Divisions within Britain are likely to increase and this will further split communities and boost the far right’s populist anti-politics message
  • We are likely to see a continued far right terrorist threat, though possibly more from “lone actors” than organisations
  • The Identitarian movement will continue to replace the Alt Right as the main international movement
  • Al-Muhajiroun is likely to become more active


Download a PDF of the report here


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