Paul Carnell: Antisemite, Conspiracy Theorist, Far-Right Activist… and Reform UK Candidate

David Lawrence and Gregory Davis - 27 04 24

HOPE not hate can reveal that Paul Carnell, a Reform UK candidate in Cannock Chase, is an antisemitic conspiracy theorist who has marched alongside Tommy Robinson and shared a stage with Patriotic Alternative, a neo-Nazi group.

Paul Carnell is representing Reform UK in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire (Cannock Park and Old Fallow ward) at the local elections on 2 May

However, HOPE not hate can reveal that Carnell:

  • Repeatedly made antisemitic and Islamophobic comments, including endorsing a pro-Nazi Holocaust denial documentary as showing “the other history not taught in Zionist Indoctrination Camps (schools)”
  • Was heavily involved in the militant conspiracy theory group Alpha Team Assemble, which he said was working to “break down and rebuild this slave system we’re in”
  • Attended demonstrations organised by the anti-Muslim extremist Tommy Robinson in 2022 and 2024
  • Claimed this January that he disliked Reform UK leader Richard Tice, writing that he “definitely don’t trust him or anyone that supports wars”, apparently stemming from Tice’s support for Ukraine

This is just the latest scandal to rock Reform UK. It follows weeks of exposés of the group’s dire candidates, from the Swindon South candidate who wanted to deport “millions” of Brits and ban the Daily Mail, to the candidate in Orpington who suggested that Jews and Muslims should be banned from elected office.

Paul Carnell addressed an anti-migrant protest, co-organised by Patriotic Alternative. Cannock, 11 March 2023. Picture: HOPE not hate


In recent posts from a local chat group on the Telegram messaging app, Carnell has repeatedly used antisemitic terminology. In December 2023, he even endorsed a notorious “documentary” Europa The Last Battle, which blames Jewish people for starting the two world wars and praises Hitler. Carnell stated that the film showed “the other history not taught in Zionist Indoctrination Camps (schools)”.

In October last year, in reply to a video titled “Secret Covenant of the Illuminati” in which a speaker read out a supposed secret and sinister plan for world domination, Carnell suggested that it “Sounds like she’s reading straight out the Talmud”, referring to a Jewish scripture: 

Carnell also dabbles in producing t-shirts to order for sale among the self-proclaimed “truther” movement, some of which promote COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

However, Carnell has also advertised designs which are far darker, including one which uses a crude caricature of a Jewish dinosaur with the slogan “JEWrassic Liars”. He described the designs as “Just a few of the Many [sic] T-shirts which we make to order,” though it is unclear whether he has actually sold any.

Marching with the far right

Paul Carnell (black cap and sunglasses) in Telford, 29 January 2022. Picture: HOPE not hate

On 29 January 2022 and 27 January 2024, Carnell marched alongside other far-right activists at protests organised by the anti-Muslim extremist and serial criminal Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) in Telford, Shropshire. Lennon, the former leader of the English Defence League, organised the protests to screen “The Rape of Britain”; his self-produced film aiming to exploit local anger about the issue of on-street grooming in the town. 

He also wrote on 17 August 2022 that he had “met Tommy in person on New Year’s Eve in Telford.”

In 2023, Carnell was also happy to share a stage with Patriotic Alternative (PA), the UK’s most active neo-Nazi group. He was involved in an anti-migrant campaign in Cannock, attending a demo on 4 February that year and speaking at another on 11 March. This latter event was dominated by PA, seeing speeches from Mark Collett, PA leader and one of the UK’s most notorious neo-Nazis, as well as Sam Melia, who is currently in prison for race hate-related charges.

Paul Carnell (blue coat) stands next to PA leader Mark Collett while Sam Melia speaks, Cannock Chase, 11 March 2023. Picture: HOPE not hate

Taking to a bandstand surrounded by PA banners, Carnell called for locals to “boycott as many businesses as possible that support the invasion of the UK by illegal undocumented immigrants, rapists, murderers and paedophiles”, even naming a particular tattoo parlour for people to boycott.

…and with militant conspiracy theorists

Carnell at an Alpha Team Assemble event in Staffordshire, 8 January 2022. Credit: Channel 4

Worryingly, Carnell was also involved in Alpha Team Assemble (ATA – previously known as Alpha Men Assemble), a militant anti-vaccine group that received much press attention at the beginning of 2022. 

ATA was founded by conspiracy theorists disillusioned with the UK’s anti-lockdown protest movement, promising “direct action” and “pure unadulterated defiance” against the government.

Carnell attended ATA’s first public meeting, held in Leeds on 19 December 2021, at which roughly 60 activists – instructed to wear black clothing – engaged in a “self defence training session”. Carnell went on to attend a similar event in Littlehampton, West Sussex on 28 December, at which roughly 100 individuals performed combat drills.

Carnell at an Alpha Team Assemble event in Staffordshire, 8 January 2022. Credit: Channel 4

Carnell, who appears to have taken an organising role in the group, also attended a subsequent ATA meeting, held on 8 January 2022, near Walsall in Staffordshire, at which combat training was taught.

Also in attendance was a Channel 4 film crew and an undercover Daily Mail journalist, who reported that one group member urged activists to “hit vaccine centres, schools, head teachers, colleges, councillors and directors of public health in every area”. ATA Leader Danny Glass also voiced his intent to “take it to the Old Bill. It’s not for the faint hearted, but we’re going to go and ****ing do ’em.” Another claimed they were fighting a “war” that was “being waged on its people by its governments. This is a global war.”

“The Best Laid Schemes O’ Tice an’ Ben…”

It is hard to imagine a more dysfunctional candidate selection process than whatever is taking place at Reform HQ. The racism, bigotry and conspiracy beliefs that have been revealed among Reform candidates are on the most extreme fringe of British society.

While it is true that these candidates reflect the ideological milieu that Reform have been pandering to, the constant stream of deselections makes clear that the party leadership was hoping for candidates who were better at disguising whatever bigotry and bizarre conspiracy beliefs they harboured.

The disappointment is mutual: Carnell is far from sold on Tice’s leadership, saying in January this year: “I don’t particularly like him and I definitely don’t trust him or anyone who supports wars”, in reference to Tice’s support for Ukraine.

This comes just weeks after we revealed that Reform’s now-ex-candidate for Lewes had liked a tweet from Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) that said “F*ck Reform under his [Tice’s] leadership”, posted in objection to the same issue.

If Reform UK wish to be taken seriously as a political party, they should aim to select candidates who don’t hold hate for minority groups, vaccines and their own leadership.

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