Deepfake technology is manipulating UK politics – it’s time we put a stop to it.

- 15 05 24

With another election around the corner, the threat of AI-generated deepfakes has never been more real. From fake audios of politicians to misleading videos, these tools are deceiving the public and dangerously eroding trust in our democratic institutions. 

In the last year alone, we’ve seen disturbing instances where AI was misused in UK politics: a fake audio of Sadiq Khan promoted by far-right groups and a deepfake video of Keir Starmer released during a major political conference. 

Armistice day

Last year we reported on the violence in Central London on Armistice Day. Hundreds of football hooligans and far right activists congregated under the pretense of “protecting” the Cenotaph from a pro-Palestine demonstration. Scenes quickly descended into violence with over 100 arrests made as Met Police described the groups as “intent on confrontation”.

HOPE not hate reported to the police the worrying messages in hooligan Whatsapp groups in the 48 hours leading up to armistice day – including at least three deepfake videos appeared on Tiktok purporting to be of Sadiq Khan. 

All three video showed the Mayor of London supposedly talking down the importance of Armistice Day and talking up the rights of Muslims and pro-Palestine activists.

In one video, Sadiq supposedly said that Remembrance Sunday should be postponed in to make way for a Million Man Palestine demo.

These videos were shared on far right channels, in particular a prominent football hooligan WhatsApp group, which emerged as pivotal in mobilising hooligans for the protest at the Cenotaph. 

Several people directly responded by saying Sadiq Khan should be killed. Others said that all Muslims should be targeted. Some of those responding directly to the deepfake videos had only a few days before been sharing terrorist videos on this WhatsApp group.

Screenshots from football hooligan groups ahead of Armistice Day

HOPE not hate identified the person responsible for making these videos and reported him directly to the police. Our researchers uncovered this person had a long history of sharing racist and Islamophobic content. However, the police publicly stated that there was nothing they could do as the TikTok videos were considered “parody” under the law.

Across the world

This problem isn’t unique to the UK.

  • A fake recording emerged of Michal Simecka, the leader of the Progressive Slovakia Party, having a conversation with a journalist discussing how to rig an election.
  • A deceptive ‘robocall’ imitating Joe Biden was used to disuade voters from casting votes in a New Hampshire primary.
  • A deepfake video of Chicago Mayoral Candidate Paul Vallas claiming to support cops killing civilians and opposing the movement to defund the police in a bid to split the democrat vote. The recording was shared by an account called ‘Chicago Lakefront News’ to mimic legitimate news sources.

Sign Our Petition: Stop Deepfake Election Interference

These videos and recordings mislead the public and erode trust in democratic institutions. As we head into a General Election, we expect debates around culture war issues to intensify. Left unchecked, those seeking to further divide communities can weaponise AI and deep fakes to create inflammatory content that adds fuel to the fire. 

It’s crucial that we act now to prevent misinformation from tainting our democratic processes. Add your name to the petition now.


The integrity of our elections is under threat from an alarming new trend; the use of AI-generated deepfakes. These fabricated videos and recordings are crafted to mislead the public and erode trust in our democratic institutions. With a General Election on the horizon, it’s crucial that we act now to prevent misinformation from tainting our democratic processes. Sign our petition to ask for action from the government.



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