Updated Wednesday 06 Mar 2024

CASE FILE: Anne Marie Waters

Name Anne Marie Waters
Tags Anti-Migrant and Anti-Muslim
Categories Independent Activist
Related People/Groups UKIP, Stephen Lennon
Years Active 2013 – Present
Active Areas UK




Anne Marie Waters is one of the UK’s best-known far-right, anti-Muslim activists.

A former Labour councillor, in 2013 Waters shifted dramatically to the right and became heavily involved in the international so-called “counter-jihad” scene. In 2014, she launched Sharia Watch UK, a now-dormant site, and helped organise the cancelled Muhammad cartoon exhibition in London in September 2015.

In January 2016, Waters emerged as a key figure in Pegida UK, the UK branch of the pan-European, anti-Muslim street movement, alongside former English Defence League leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson). The venture quickly flopped.

Waters represented UKIP in elections in 2015, gaining negative press for describing Islam as “evil”. In 2017, she announced her run for the UKIP leadership at a disorderly demonstration in Manchester, telling the crowd that “Islam is a killing machine”. Waters and her followers were lambasted for their extremism by numerous figures within the party, including Nigel Farage, but still finished second with 21% of the vote.

Waters subsequently launched her own political party, For Britain, in October 2017 and the party quickly attracted Islamophobic UKIP exiles, ex-BNP members and other extremists. The following month, Waters featured in an undercover ITV exposé, during which she was filmed saying: “We are becoming an Islamic state […] My thinking is we need to reduce their birthrates now.”

In June 2018, she stood in the Lewisham East by-election, but her campaign was overshadowed after HOPE not hate exposed Sam Melia, one of For Britain’s 2018 local election candidates, for having a past in the now-banned nazi organisation National Action. Waters received 1.2% of the vote.

As former BNP activists flooded into For Britain, Waters’ language became increasingly conspiratorial and fixated on race. In August 2019, Waters spoke at the conference of Generation Identity UK, a group which advocated for a form of racial segregation. In her speech Waters made direct reference to the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

After folding For Britain in July 2022 – against the wishes of many of its members – Waters rejoined UKIP in April 2023, and has since announced her intention to run for its leadership.



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