State of HATE 2022: Executive Summary

The far right The far right is now actively mobilising in ways not seen for several years, and opportunities exist for it to mount a…

5 Minute Read
Close Chapter
Expand Chapter Close Chapter
Chapter : State of HATE 2022: Executive Summary

The far right

  • The far right is now actively mobilising in ways not seen for several years, and opportunities exist for it to mount a resurgence over many levels.
  • 2021 saw the UK’s far right emerge out of their bedrooms and back onto the streets, leafleting, dropping banners and holding protests outside hotels and other asylum seeker accommodation.
  • The far right is also getting back online, the emergence of a functioning far-right alternative social media space.
  • The far right has increasingly adopted anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown politics. Fitness, wellness and health have become a key aspect of the far-right scene, with extremists recruiting new members by framing fascism as a route to self-improvement. A radicalised conspiracy theory scene, growing mistrust in mainstream politics, a post-Brexit era and the rising cost of living crisis, are creating fertile grounds for the growth of the far right.

COVID and conspiracies

  • We are witnessing the increasing radicalisation of the COVID conspiracy and anti-lockdown movements. More radical groups such as Alpha Team Assemble (which focus on physical action) have emerged, viewing street protests as an ineffective form of activism, instead carrying out combat training drills and promising “pure unadulterated defiance”. Last year saw the growing influence of so-called “sovereign citizen” beliefs, which adherents can justify illegal behaviour by convincing themselves of the legality of their actions. Conspiracy theories are still strong in society: a third of people (35%) believe that elites in Hollywood, governments, the media and other powerful positions are secretly engaging in large scale child trafficking and abuse; and 20% believe that elites are encouraging immigration as part of a plot to weaken Europe.
  • 18% believe that COVID has been intentionally released as part of a ‘depopulation’ plan orchestrated by the UN or New World Order

Tech and media

  • As deplatforming of far-right activists has increased, many have moved across to alternative social media platforms where they are out of reach of regulators. Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) remains the best known far-right figure in the UK, with 57% of the British public having heard of him. He also had the biggest reach, with over 180,000 followers on the alternative platform GETTR, 155,000 followers on Telegram and 28,000subscribers on the video sharing platform BitChute.
  • There were some appalling examples of mainstream news outlets providing platforms to far right figures.


  • 18 far-right supporters were convicted of terror-related offences in 2021, double the number in2020. Of the 18, six were teenagers.
  • 76 far-right extremists have been convicted under terrorism legislation since the beginning of 2017.This compares to just 15 in the previous five years.
  • Many convictions relate to the Telegram chat app, which has emerged as an important organising platform for the terror-advocating far right in recent years.
  • Attempts at constructing weapons rather than acquiring industrial-made counterparts was a growing and potentially deadly trend last year.


  • Racism remains an everyday experience for many people of colour, with exclusive polling revealing that more than half of respondents had witnessed (24%) or experienced (28%) racial abuse in the last year.
  • Two-thirds of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds think black and Asian people face discrimination in their everyday lives.
  • The majority of our BAME poll thought that Boris Johnson had failed to keep the promise he made to address racism in society at the height of the BLM protests. Only 17% thought he had.


  • Faith in democracy is low and political scandals, such as ‘Partygate’, are eroding trust in the political system.
  • Over half of people (57%) are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in the UK, while 74% do not feel that politicians listen to them.
  • A quarter (26%) say the British political system needs to be completely reformed, while over two-fifths (44%) think it needs major changes.
  • The Government is embarking on a series of Bills that we believe will further centralise power, limit opposition and ultimately increase mistrust in the political system.


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate