The essential journalist news source
Research from HOPE not hate shows 102% increase in anti-migrant activism.


New research from HOPE not hate shows huge and worrying102% increase in anti-migrant activity in 2022


HOPE not hate, the UK's leading anti-fascist campaign group which monitors and tackles the far-right, has released new research showing thatin 2022 "migrant-hunters" visited migrant and asylum seeker accommodation and processing centres 253 times.This is a102% increasecompared to 2021.


What do "migrant hunters" do?


So-called "migrant-hunters" target hotels and processing sites, film their activity and post it online. They threaten migrants, asylum seekers and staff, posing as ‘journalists' and stirring up hate in local communities. They leaflet in the area, drop banners and try to expose the locations of hotels in online forums and chats. All of this is broadcast and shared online over social media platforms to spread their hate. 


Where are the hotspots of anti-migrant activity?


The major hotspots for "migrant-hunter" activity are around Dover, the North West and Yorkshire. 


Who are the "migrant-hunters"?


  • Amanda Smith (aka Yorkshire Rose) visited migrant accommodation 124 times in 2022, a 143% increase on 2021.Smith, from Castleford, is by far the most prolific hotel harasser of 2022. She poses as a concerned local journalist to try to get migrants to talk to her. Her visits at times end in her screaming "traitor" and verbally abusing staff and security. She has nearly 11,000 subscribers on YouTube with 1.8 million views. She has called asylum seekers "filthy animals" and was arrested in January 2021 for causing alarm and distress and banned from North Yorkshire as part of bail conditions. She has also harassed staff at COVID-19 test centres, claiming COVID-19 is fake. On her accounts she has posted 5G and New World Order conspiracy theories and content from the fascist group Patriotic Alternative.
  • Alan Legett (aka Active Patriot) has visited accommodation sites at least 24 times in 2022, an 11% increase on the previous year. His harassment includes entering a canteen and repeatedly calling them "fighting age men" and accosting a child to try and gain details of his travels. He was arrested in January 2021 with Amanda Rose for causing alarm and distress and banned from North Yorkshire as part of their bail conditions. He is most prolific on Twitter with nearly 60,000 followers
  • Patriotic Alternative made 14 visits in 2022.They dropped banners saying "White girls are not Fair Game" in front of hotels and leafleting to stir up hate with messages such as "we're full".
  • Britain First and Paul Golding have carried out 81 visits, a 53% increase on 2021.They also leafletted areas near migrant accommodation, most notably in Linton-on-Ouse where they ran a campaign designed to play on local concerns. Replicating their previous tactic of ‘mosque invasions' they filmed outside hotels and even entered the accommodation on numerous occasions. Britain First messaging focused on painting asylum-seekers as potential terrorists or sexual predators. The group uses islamophobic narratives about a "Muslim takeover of Europe" and regularly refers to the "Great Replacement" - a white nationalist conspiracy theory that states the ethnic white population is being demographically and culturally replaced with non-white and specifically Arab and sub-Saharan Muslim populations through mass migration and demographic changes.
  • Far-right ‘journalists' Voice of Wales have visited 13 sites in Wales in 2022creating content. They were permanently banned from YouTube and now use fringe social media platforms to spread their videos, such as Gettr.
  • Steve Laws is one of the most prominent anti-migrant figures who films arriving boats in Dover. He uses the language of "invaders", "swarm" and the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory. He is a former member of For Britain, the now defunct far-right party.
  • Chris Johnson posts near-daily videos of migrants rescued by the RNLI on his Facebook page. In September 2022, he posted, "The first thing Liz Truss should do is build more prisons because the levels of violence and sexual assaults in the country is unbelievable. Bang them all up. We have a right to feel safe." 


The demonstration in Knowsley on 10 February 2023 was fuelled by anti-migrant activists


  • This was a locally driven demonstration against a contingency hotel, Suites Hotel in Knowsley, where asylum seekers are temporarily housed. 15 people were arrested, 3 people were injured as a police van was set on fire and fireworks were lit. One man has been charged.
  • Far-right activists had been stirring up tensions for weeks. Britain First and Patriotic Alternative had made visits to the hotel in recent weeks as part of "migrant hunting" activity and the demo was shared by prominent far-right activists including Tommy Robinson on social media sites. 
  • The demonstration was also linked to a widely circulated video of a 25 year old man approaching a 15-year old schoolgirl in Liverpool, asking for her details.
  • Patriotic Alternative were in the area on Saturday 4 Feb delivering leaflets with the slogan "5 Star Hotels For Migrants Whilst Brits Freeze" and stood with a banner outside the hotel for pictures. 
  • Kirkby based PA activist James Mac (aka James Costello) was at the demonstration.
  • Patriotic Alternative are the UK's biggest fascist group, though they remain on the political fringes with only a few hundred members.
  • PA is desperate to grow and seeks out media attention. They latch on to local issues like migrant accommodation or Drag Queen Story Hour events, posing a "family-friendly" local group. In reality, the group is rife with nazi extremists, some PA members have previously been involved with proscribed group National Action who's member Jack Renshaw attempted to murder Rosie Cooper MP. 
  • On 23 January, Britain First filmed outside the hotel and posted the video online claiming they didn't see any women and children there. They do this to promote the idea that migrant men are coming to the UK and pose a threat to this country. 
  • Amanda Smith (AKA Yorkshire Rose) and "English Bulldog", another migrant hunter, appear to have been present at the event.
  • Similar events are already planned around the country with posters advertising them saying "Stop White Genocide".


The Dover petrol bomber consumed anti-migrant social media content


  • 30 October 2022, Andrew Leak aged 66, drove to Dover and threw several petrol bombs at a migrant-processing centre and committed suicide nearby. 
  • HOPE not hate's archive of his now deleted Twitter account shows a man who extensively consumed far-right material and was obsessed with a desire for violence against Muslims and migrants
  • On the morning of the attack he tweeted "Your children will feel the pain we will obliterate them Muslim children are now our target And there disgusting women will be targeted mothers and sisters Is burn alive [sic]."
  • Followed and engaged with Alan Legett/Active Patriot and Amanda Smith/Yorkshire Rose.


Nick Lowles CEO at HOPE not hate said: 

"HOPE not hate have recorded a 102% rise in migrant-hunting activity over the past year. Far-right activists posing a journalists harass and intimidate migrants and accommodation staff, whipping up tension locally by delivering leaflets claiming asylum seekers are housed in ‘5 star hotels'.

This huge rise fuelled by the repeated demonisation and scapegoating of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees by the government and the media. 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 Knowsley, setting a police van on fire and letting of 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 is within their power to deal with backlogs and find more suitable accommodation, to give service providers information and equip them to respond to community tensions, and to take far-right threat seriously."

Notes to editors:


  • HOPE not hate is the UK's leading anti-fascist campaign group which monitors and tackles the far-right.
  • HOPE not hate spokespeople are available for interview.
  • For more information on Patriotic Alternative,read our briefing.


Contact:|@hopenothate||0207 952 1183

HOPE not hate uses research, education and public engagement to challenge mistrust and racism, and helps to build communities that are inclusive, celebrate shared identities and are resilient to hate.