Updated Wednesday 06 Mar 2024

CASE FILE: Hearts of Oak

Name Hearts of Oak
Tags Populist/Radical Right
Categories Media Outlet
Related People/Groups Stephen Lennon, Sargon of Akkad / Lotus Eaters Media
Years Active 2020 – Present
Active Areas UK


Founded in February 2020, Hearts of Oak was originally presented as an alliance between far-right and libertarian activists, including Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson), Carl Benjamin (AKA Sargon of Akkad) and a number of former UKIP activists, including ex-leader Gerard Batten.

The public launch of the group was preceded by the incorporation of a number of companies. In October 2019, Alan Craig, Peter McIlvenna and Lord Pearson incorporated the Free Speech Movement Ltd. That same month they also created The Patriotic Alliance Ltd, then in November 2019 the Alternative Alliance Limited was registered with Companies House. Finally, in December that year they also registered Hearts of Oak Alliance LTD. Furthermore, McIlvenna is listed as a member of staff on Lord Pearson’s Register of Interests.

Hearts of Oak launched with a protest on Parliament Square demanding the deportation of Muslim perpetrators of on-street grooming. Hearts of Oak described itself as a “populist, anti-establishment movement” that brought together a group including Lennon, various former UKIP figures and evangelical Christian activists. It announced that it would campaign on immigration, political correctness and protecting children from the “LGBTQ agenda”.

Disrupted soon after its launch by the COVID-19 pandemic, the group’s operations have moved online and where it has since developed its own platform. McIlvenna now produces regular interviews for the group’s YouTube channel, covering an array of topics but with a focus on anti-Muslim content, opposing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, and anti-LGBT+ content framed as rejecting the sexualisation of children.

In 2023, HOPE not hate revealed that McIlvenna and Craig had long been members of the secretive organisation called the New Issues Group which worked to push anti-Muslim politics and met secretly on the parliamentary estate.



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