London – A British neo-Nazi leader triggered calls to “burn down” and “drive out” the Board of Deputies after its President, Marie van der Zyl, visited a migrant camp in France.
The threats were posted online by a supporter of the far-right group Patriotic Alternative after its leader, Mark Collett, a notorious Holocaust denier, accused the Board of supporting “mass-immigration into Britain”.
The comments by the far-right group, which claims to be the biggest in Britain with 15,000 members, came after Ms van der Zyl visited a camp in Dunkirk last month and praised the migrants for their “dignity” and “politeness”.
The Board President’s visit took place amid a political row over the government’s immigration policy, including its plan to send migrants to Rwanda, which the Board criticised.
The Jewish leadership body said that “strengthening and enhancing safe, legal and viable routes to gaining asylum in this country will be a far more effective way to significantly reduce such numbers”.
In response, Collett, who has stated his admiration for Hitler, posted on social media: “The British Board of Deputies supports mass immigration into Britain and opposes groups that call for immigration control.”
He added: “They oppose the idea of indigenous Britons remaining a majority in their ancestral homeland.”
The comment, posted on an online platform he administers, provoked fury from his followers.
Shielded by the platform’s anonymity, one user described the Board’s involvement in the immigration debate as “the Jewish war on the white race”.
A second user attacked Jews generally, suggesting they should be forced out of Britain. They said: “Another reason to exile this ethnicity from any self-respecting nation.
“Over 100 sovereign countries can’t be wrong.”
Another anonymous user called for a “protest” against the Board of Deputies, adding: “Burn down their buildings and drive them out.
“What are you waiting for? Because talking and exposing them hasn’t done a damn thing.” In response, the Board of Deputies called for Patriotic Alternative to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation.
A spokesperson said: “It is profoundly disturbing to see the leader of a UK-based far-right organisation, Patriotic Alternative, taking aim at us in this fashion and predictably receiving the threat of a murderous response.
“We hope that the government will soon proscribe Patriotic Alternative.”
A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust also said that Collett’s group incendiary social media post could trigger attacks on Jews.
They said: “Mark Collett and Patriotic Alternative regularly push antisemitic conspiracies online and it is no surprise that they incite violent rhetoric of this nature from their followers.
“This is the worrying reality of far-right antisemitism today, in which the incessant anti-Jewish propaganda of leading online figures risk stirring up real world harms.”
Founded in 2019, Patriotic Alternative describes itself as an activist group that aims to raise awareness of the “demographic decline of native Britons” and the impact of mass immigration.
Its conferences have featured Michèle Renouf, a leading Holocaust denier, and Andreas Johansson of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement.
Collett has long been prominent in British far-right circles.
He was head of the British National Party’s youth division in the early 2000s and has a history of racist comments.
He has voiced pro-Nazi sympathies.
In a 2021 book, he revealed he would have been “proud” to have taken part in the Nuremberg rallies, a series of mass Nazi parades that took place in Germany between 1923 and 1939.
Under Collett’s leadership, Patriotic Alternative has become known for provocative stunts, including setting up a “White Lives Matter” banner on the summit of Ben Nevis.
The group, which has stated that it wants all non-white people to be removed from the UK, has tried to soften its image.
A recent report by the activist group Hope Not Hate suggested that the organisation has up to 250 activists in the UK and has played a leading role in organising protests against hotels housing asylum seekers.
Collett denies he is an extremist but continues to make incendiary statements online.
Last year, he wrote: “Whilst Jews constantly talk about white over-representation and demand ethnic quotas that always result in fewer whites being employed, Jews themselves are vastly over represented in the media and are quick to silence anyone who mentions this fact.”
A member of Collett’s group, Kristofer Kearney, pleaded guilty to two counts of disseminating terrorist publications earlier this year.
The court case came after an investigation found that he had shared dozens of far-right documents on the internet.
Mark Collett and Patriotic Alternative were contacted for comment.