Far-Right activists stage demonstration against asylum seeker hotels
25th February 2023

Hundreds of far-Right activists led by ‘Hitler-lookalike’ stage demonstration against asylum seeker hotels in Lincolnshire weeks after riots in Merseyside

  • The protest was held in Skegness with protesters arguing ‘enough is enough’
  • It was organised by Patriotic Alternative, whose poster boy is a British Neo-Nazi

Hundreds of far-Right protesters led by a ‘Hitler-lookalike’ have staged a demonstration against hotels housing asylum seekers in Lincolnshire – just weeks after riots broke out in Merseyside. 

A major protest was held in Skegness, Lincolnshire, this afternoon, with protesters holding up anti-refugee banners and placards saying ‘enough is enough’ and ‘stop the invasion we will not be replaced’.

The event was organised by far-Right group Patriotic Alternative (PA), whose members are opposed to a government initiative to house up to 500 asylum seekers and refugees in hotels while their applications are being processed.

Former soldier and ‘Hilter-lookalike’ Alek Yerbury, an active member of the group and poster boy for British Neo-Nazis, was present at the protest. 

The organisation describes itself as a ‘community building and activism group’ which ‘teams up with local residents’ and seeks to bolster ‘white pride’. 

The group was founded in 2019 by Mark Collett, a Neo-Nazi who calls for a ‘racially pure white society’ and led the BNP’s youth wing before the party expelled him. It now claims to have more than 15,000 members. 

Hundreds of far-Right protesters staged a demonstration today against hotels housing asylum seekers in Skegness, Lincolnshire. Pictured: Protesters march across Skegness with one carrying an English flag emblazoned with No More Refugees

Former soldier and ‘Hilter-lookalike’ Alek Yerbury, an active member of the group and poster boy for British neo-Nazis, was present at the anti-immigration protest

Patriotic Alternative describes itself as a ‘community building and activism group’ which ‘teams up with local residents’ and seeks to bolster ‘white pride’

Tensions have been rising in the coastal town have been high since Serco started  housing asylum seekers in November last year, with locals arguing that the using the hotels for this purpose would damage the town’s tourist economy.

Lincolnshire Police officers were seen monitoring the event. Superintendent Pat Coates said officers were on stand-by in case of any criminal behaviour or rising tension and violence.

He said: ‘We have a duty to uphold the right to lawful protest, which is a fundamental part of our democracy, and Lincolnshire Police facilitated that right today.

‘During the day, our officers engaged with protesters, members of the local community, and visitors to the town while they were on patrol to help ease concerns and diffuse tensions.’

Jacob Morris, 22, a Patriotic Alternative supporter from Lincoln who was at the Skegness rally, said: ‘I’m protesting today against the council’s, and councils up and down the country, really, decision and her Majesty’s Government’s decision to put migrants across the Channel in hotels, three, four and five star hotels and it’s costing the British taxpayers millions.

‘Especially when this country is facing a cost-of-living crisis, you think perhaps our Government should be spending on priorities.

‘Ukrainians are one thing but a lot of these people crossing the Channel are certainly not Ukrainians, there’s been reports in the press a lot are from Albania and elsewhere. Albania hasn’t been at war for years, they’re a modern, stable country. We’re being taken advantage of in this country.’

He claimed there had been about ‘500 people’ at the rally and added: ‘Our contention is a lot of these aren’t genuine asylum applications.’

Asked if the group is racist, he said: ‘It’s not racist to stand up for your own people, that’s all I can say. We advocate for the white British people.’

Protesters were holding up anti-refugee banners and placards saying ‘enough is enough’ and ‘Skegness says no’

One protester punches the air as others carry signs as the march moves across town

Meanwhile there were tensions elsewhere in the country between anti-immigration protesters and those in support of housing asylum seekers.  

One protest took place in Nottinghamshire and was met with a counter-protest by Open Nottingham – a democratic group attending in support of asylum seekers.

Demonstrators were based outside the Novotel Nottingham-Derby in Long Eaton, was taken over by the Home Office last October.

A flyer posted on social media read: ‘Protect your children. Protect our women. Protect our interests. Enough is enough.’ 

It is claimed that staff members lost their jobs as a result of the hotel being turned into accommodation for asylum seekers. 

In Cornwall two groups of protesters faced off over the housing of asylum seekers in the Beresford Hotel in Newquay.

The group of asylum seekers were place in the hotel by the Home Office in November last year. 

Around 100 counter-protesters, with some clutching signs saying ‘Refugees welcome’ and ‘Seeking asylum is a right not a crime’, gathered outside the hotel.

An opposing group of about 100 people stood on the other side of the street, with one holding up a sign saying: ‘You are anti-white racists.’

Police confirmed to MailOnline that they were engaging with those in attendance ‘to ensure everyone’s safety and facilitate peaceful protest’.

In a statement, Rosie Carter, director of policy at anti-fascist campaign group Hope not Hate, said: ‘Far-right groups are trying to stir up tensions in local communities to further their own agendas.

‘Hope not hate have seen a 102% increase in far right, anti-migrant activity in the last year.

‘This huge increase in far-right, anti-migrant activity doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

‘It’s incumbent on the Government to end their inflammatory use of language that feeds and enables the far-right, put safeguards around hotels in place, and look again at their policies that have led to this dangerous situation in the first place.’

It is not confirmed at this time whether the protests are related.  

The protests come as last week 15 people were arrested – including a youth aged 13 – after a demonstration turned violent outside a hotel housing asylum seekers in Merseyside.

The riot erupted after a video was shared online of a schoolgirl allegedly being harassed by a 25-year-old migrant thought to have been staying at the four star Suites Hotel in Knowsley.

The violence, which Labour MP Lisa Nandy suggested had been stoked by far-Right agitators, left a police officer and two members of the public with slight injuries.

Lit fireworks were thrown at officers and the police van was set alight after being attacked with hammers.

A police van was set alight in Merseyside after protests outside a hotel housing asylum seekers turned violent

Merseyside Police said a number of people had turned up at the hotel ‘intent on using a planned protest to carry out violent and despicable behaviour’.

Patriotic Alternative had protested outside the hotel earlier this month, but denied organising this event.

The group has been widely reported as being behind the recent protest outside the Tate Britain, which saw Right-wing protesters wearing t-shirts with slogans such as ‘groom dogs not children’ clash with pro-LGBT counter demonstrators.

The Tate, in Millbank, central London, had been hosting Drag Queen Story Hour UK, with tales told by Aida H Dee, who the gallery’s website describes as ‘the first drag artist in Europe to read stories to children in a nursery’.

Right-wing protesters clash with counter protesters outside the Tate Britain gallery in London in response to a ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ earlier this month

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