Far-right anti-migrant activism has more than doubled in the last year, says Hope not Hate

Far-right protesters visited hotels housing asylum seekers 253 times last year.


Far-right protesters visited hotels housing asylum seekers 253 times last year, amid a surge in anti-migrant activity across the UK, new research has revealed, which is more than double the amount of similar incidents which were recorded in 2021.

The far-right members, often disguise themselves as journalists in a bid to get close to the hotels and then proceed to use threatening and abusive language towards staff and vulnerable asylum seekers.

The research findings from Hope not Hate come after several hundred far-right demonstrators protested against asylum seekers housed in a hotel in Knowsley, where a police van was set on fire. Last year, a man hurled three petrol bombs attached with fireworks at a migrant centre in Dover, Kent, before killing himself nearby.

Videos collected by the far-right, usually on mobile phones, are often shared on social media and far-right websites, to stir up hatred among communities against asylum seekers as well as the hotels housing them.

Nick Lowles, chief executive of Hope Not Hate, told the Times that the rise in anti-migrant activity around hotels was down to the “repeated demonisation and scapegoating of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees by the government and the media”.

He said: “This rhetoric shapes hostile public opinion and encourages the far right. There is a very dark side to this anti-migrant activity. Hope not Hate’s research shows that the Dover firebomber consumed migrant-hunter content before he attacked a migrant-processing site and we saw 400 people demonstrating in Kirkby, setting a police van on fire and letting off fireworks. The question is not whether this will happen again, but what the government is going to do to ensure it doesn’t.

“Politicians and the media need to take real responsibility and drop their line of inflammatory language that feeds and enables the far right.”

It comes as Dame Sara Khan, who was the government’s commissioner for countering extremism, said that a neo-Nazi group behind some of the anti-migrant protests had been allowed to flourish as a result of inaction from ministers.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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