PRESS RELEASE: UK – Concerns over far-right opportunism as result of the riots


Messages from far-right groups on social media [1] have suggested that some groups of far-right sympathisers want to use the riots as cover for burning down mosques [2].  Others have spoken of the riots in terms of a race war and suggest taking action against ‘blacks’ and ‘asians’ and ‘coloureds’[3].

Of more concern was the actual appearance of the English Defence League in Eltham, London yesterday (9 August) and the promotion of their effort via social media[4].  Reports suggest that there may have been EDL members or supporters amongst vigilantes in Enfield, London[5].  

International media reports EDL leader Stephen Lennon aka Tommy Robinson claiming that up to 1,000 (one thousand) EDL members will be patrolling the streets.

Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said:

“The demonising rhetoric in the media in particular and from government and its institutions is being capitalised upon by far-right actors, and the government needs to publicly condemn this opportunism and make clear it will deal with this threat.”

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222, or via email at Alternatively, you can call (+44) 7958522196.

Notes to Editors:

1.  Monitoring groups like @EverythingEDL on Twitter have raised attention to this, see notes below.

2.  See via @EverythingEDL

3.  See via @EverythingEDL, one commentators suggests gassing the rioters depicted in purely racial and racist terms

4.  See via @EVerythingEDL, groups chanting “EDL, EDL” in Eltham

Twitter @ihrc