Great Britain | 01/31/2022

Great Britain 2022 January

English Defence League (EDL) founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is being pursued by creditors for an estimated £2 million (€2.4m), having declared himself bankrupt during a High Court trial last year. A month later, Yaxley-Lennon divorced his wife, Jenna Vowles, who was the registered owner of their family home. Despite the bankruptcy and divorce, Yaxley-Lennon appears to still be living at the property, according to anti-racist charity Hope Not Hate (HNH) who claim to have observed him spending time there.

The Independent is reporting that Yaxley-Lennon’s ex-wife is the sole director of a company set up to receive funds for her former husband. Yaxley-Lennon has shared links to a “Square FT” donations website which claims to support “freelance independent journalists” on his Telegram and GETTR account, both of which have large followings.

At the start of the month, when Yaxley-Lennon was still in Telford working on the documentary, his car was blown up in a petrol bomb attack.

With Yaxley-Lennon facing money problems, he’s returned to his most profitable line of work, organising far-right street protests. On Saturday 29 January Yaxley-Lennon held a well-attended protest in Telford, Shropshire. Over 1,000 supporters turned out to watch Yaxley-Lennon’s latest documentary and listen to speeches from some of his more prominent supporters. The size of the crowd demonstrates Yaxley-Lennon can still pull in the numbers.

One speaker was Danny Roscoe, a reactionary black man who has organised protests against Black Lives Matter. Yaxley-Lennon’s close ally, failed kidnapper Daniel Thomas (aka Danny Tommo) addressed the crowd. As did For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters, Peter Mcilvenna from Hearts of Oak and Richard Inman formerly of Veterans Against Terrorism.

The protest was attended by a number of far-right figures, including Jake Bewick, now fitness officer for Patriotic Alternative (PA)’s Yorkshire region. Bewick attended with a number of PA activists from the West Midlands region, who did a banner drop and distributed leaflets, showing they will continue attempting to recruit from Yaxley-Lennon’s supporters. This has reignited the feud between Yaxley-Lennon and PA, who he considers to be neo-Nazis.

PA was active again in January, holding events up and down the country. The PA Eastern region distributed leaflets in Thetford Thurrock, Norwich, Wymondham and Southend. The Norwich leafleting prompted local press coverage. In Essex, activists went litter-picking at two churches in Braintree. The same group held a social event, involving axe throwing and bar games, attended by seven supporters. PA’s Norfolk group went bowling.

In the East Midlands, PA held a flash-mob protest at a ‘migrant’ hotel in Nottingham and distributed leaflets in Derbyshire, Lincoln and Northamptonshire. PA London attended an anti-lockdown protest to hand out leaflets for half an hour.

PA’s North East region held a banner drop at the Penshaw Monument then went for a walk, did homeless outreach and a walk around Newcastle city centre, went leafleting in South Shields and met up for a litter-picking session in Durham.

Over in the North West, the PA region went for a hike in Lancashire, leafleted in Barrow again, prompting more local press coverage and condemnation from the local MP and did a banner drop and leafleting outside a ‘migrant’ hotel in Blackpool.

PA’s South East region went for a hike and pub lunch in Godalming, Surrey. The PA South West region distributed leaflets in Plymouth and Wiltshire. PA South West also held a joint camping trip with some West Midlands activists, where an attendee was pictured wearing a St. Pauli hoodie and visited some woods on Dartmoor.

PA Scotland’s region held a small hike in the hills in Angus. In Glasgow, PA activists leafleted in Barrhead and attended an anti-vaxx protest. Mid Scotland & Fife Branch activists attended an anti-lockdown rally in Stirling. Lothian based activists met up for a physical training session, walked around Roslin Glen and distributed leaflets in Livingston. PA Wales visited Swansea to protest against a ‘migrant’ hotel and distributed leaflets in Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd, Aberystwyth and Llanelli.

In the West Midlands, the PA region held a flash-mob protest in Dudley and leafleted in Alton, Staffordshire. The Worcestershire branch leafleted homes in Bromsgrove. The PA Warwickshire branch was launched and had its first meet up for a hike, attended by eight supporters. The Staffordshire branch went litter-picking in a park and leafleted a former BNP ward in Stoke-on-Trent. The Birmingham branch attended an anti-vaxx protest in the city centre. Several West Midlands activists walked up Snowdon in North Wales.

In Yorkshire, the region where PA’s leadership has its base, PA leafleted two villages in North Lincolnshire, visited Pontefract castle for a banner drop, visited Rievaulx Abbey, held a flash-mob at a Scarborough ‘migrant’ hotel and distributed 18 food and clothing parcels to homeless people. Towards the end of January PA Yorkshire, including leader Mark Collett and Yorkshire regional organiser Sam Melia, attended an anti-vaccine protest in Leeds. On a national level, PA released a ‘roadmap’, indicating the party’s plans for the next decade.

Britain First (BF) held a regional meeting in Manchester where the far-right party is standing in a local election. BF is also campaigning in  Rhondda Cynon Taff, in South Wales. BF leader Paul Golding gave speeches in Manchester, Pontefract, the West Midlands and the South East. In the South East BF activists parked a minibus, emblazoned with a banner, on a bridge overlooking the M25 motorway during rush hour.

On 19 January, Britain First handed out leaflets in Falkirk, where Golding recorded a video interviewing the new BF regional organiser for Scotland, Callum Holmes. BF held protests at hotels they claimed were housing migrants in Aldershot, Folkestone and Berkshire.

Thousands of Scottish anti-vaxxers are being drawn towards anti-Semitic conspiracy theories after joining Telegram chats which are popular with neo-Nazis, such as PA, according to an investigation by The Times. The investigation looked at nearly one million messages sent in anti-vax and anti-lockdown group chats.

A 14-year-old schoolboy from Darlington has become the youngest person in Britain to be convicted of terror offences. The boy, who was arrested in July 2021 when he was 13, admitted three counts of possessing information useful to a terrorist. The teenager, who had been active in racist online forums, admitted possessing manuals for making explosives.

The solicitor-general has said far-right extremists and jihadists must be punished equally,  following a rise in terror cases involving neo-Nazis. The comments were made by government minister Alex Chalk QC after the Court of Appeal overturned an “unduly lenient” sentence for neo-Nazi Ben John, 22 from Lincoln. John had originally been spared prison and ordered to read Jane Austen. John has been jailed for two years for possessing a record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

A trial of four people accused of being members of a fascist terror cell is being held in Sheffield. Daniel Wright, 29, Liam Hall, 31, and Stacey Salmon, 29, from Keighley, West Yorkshire and Samuel Whibley, 29, of Menai Bridge, Anglesey, all deny terrorism offences. The four are accused of making pistol parts using a 3D printer, using Telegram to exchange terror manuals and share videos of atrocities, during the first four months of 2021.

A 17-year-old boy from Wiltshire who wanted to “shoot up a mosque” and kill 10,000 people has been given a rehabilitation order. The teenager pled guilty to possessing material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

15-year-old boy from South London has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts. Police have said their investigation is linked to “extreme right-wing ideology”. The teenager has been released on bail.

Far-right troll Paul Shelton, 51, from Furness Vale, Derbyshire was jailed for ten months for Facebook rants calling for mosques to be burnt down.

Data gathered by a counter-extremism firm funded by Google and Facebook have shown that the Plymouth shooter Jake Davidson is being glorified by online “incel” communities.

The pop group turned anti-vaxxers Right Said Fred promoted PA leader Mark Collett’s weekly live stream on their Telegram channel. On the stream, Collett went on a two-hour rant about Covid vaccines and racist conspiracy theories. The link has since been deleted and a spokesperson claimed it was done in error.

Former Breitbart London executive editor James Delingpole recorded a live stream in December with Scottish white nationalist Colin Robertson (aka Millennial Woes) according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Delingpole has had work published in the Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.

Politico published an article looking at how far-right extremists, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have flocked to alt-tech platforms such as Telegram, Odysee and BitChute.