Mark Collett
Born
Mark Adrian Collett

October 1980 (age 41)[1]
NationalityBritish
EducationLoughborough Grammar School
Alma materUniversity of Leeds
OccupationPolitical activist
Known forFormer chairman of Youth BNP
MovementFar-right[2]
Neo-Nazism[3]

Mark Adrian Collett (/ˈkɒlɪt/; born October 1980) is a British neo-Nazi,[2][3] anti-semitic conspiracy theorist[4] and political activist. He was formerly chairman of the Young BNP, the youth division of the British National Party (BNP), and was director of publicity for the party before his BNP membership was suspended in early April 2010.

Collett first drew media attention after his appearance in a 2002 British TV documentary, where, in his role as a representative of the BNP, he made statements celebrating the death of Africans and homosexuals from HIV-AIDS, specifically referring to them as "AIDS monkeys". After the documentary was aired on Channel 4, resulting in negative publicity for the BNP, Collett was temporarily expelled from the party. He later rejoined the BNP, until his membership was suspended in 2010, following an internal conflict with party leadership.

Since 2010, Collett has concentrated on his online political commentary, in which he promotes white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and conspiracy theories about Jews. In September 2019, Collett founded a white nationalist group called Patriotic Alternative.[5][6] In November 2020 he was suspended from Twitter.[7]

Early life and education

From Rothley, Collett was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and the University of Leeds where he received a lower second-class honours degree in business economics.[8]

Media appearances

Channel 4 documentary

Collett featured in a Channel 4 documentary on the BNP - Young, Nazi and Proud - broadcast in 2002 which concentrated almost exclusively on Collett. He declared his admiration for Adolf Hitler and said that he considered AIDS a "friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it", unaware he was being recorded.[8][9] Collett made similar remarks while on Russell Brand's 2002 TV show RE:Brand, in which he described homosexuals as "AIDS Monkeys", "bum bandits" and "faggots".[10] Collett was sacked from his position in the party and expelled days after the Channel 4 documentary was broadcast, although party leaders continued to share speaking platforms with him. However he was allowed to rejoin a few days later with chairman Nick Griffin saying that he must change his views on the subject. Collett was the party's head of publicity and produced the party's monthly magazine Identity.[11]

BBC documentary and subsequent trial

As a result of a police investigation into another documentary, BBC One's The Secret Agent, which in July 2004 broadcast secret footage of Collett making derogatory remarks about asylum seekers, whom he called "cockroaches",[9] Collett, then aged 24, was bailed on race hate offences at Leeds magistrates' court on 7 April 2005 alongside party founder John Tyndall and party leader Nick Griffin. The trial ended on 2 February 2006 after a jury acquitted Collett of two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred, and two alternative charges of using words likely to stir up racial hatred. The jury failed to reach a verdict in respect of a further four charges.

The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently announced that Collett and Griffin would face a retrial on the remaining charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred. This retrial began at Leeds Crown Court on 1 November 2006 and he and Griffin were found not guilty.[12]

Newsbeat interview

In October 2009, Collett and the BNP's record label executive Joseph Barber were interviewed on BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat bulletin, being introduced only as "Mark and Joey, two young guys who are members of the BNP". They said that the England international footballer Ashley Cole was not "ethnically British" due to having black heritage.[13] An internal inquiry at the BBC criticised the interviewers for not identifying the pair by their full names and positions in the BNP, and for not sufficiently challenging their remarks about Cole.[14]

Political activities

BNP leadership bid

In April 2010, Collett was sacked from his job as BNP publicity chief and suspended from the party for being supportive of a leadership bid against Griffin, and was subsequently arrested by Humberside police, who questioned him over alleged threats to kill Griffin.[15] Despite the reinstatement of Collett's party membership he did not stand for the party in the May 2010 general election. He had previously been selected as BNP candidate in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, to challenge the then-Home Secretary David Blunkett.[16]

Humberside Police did not bring charges against Collett over the allegations of threats to kill, formally dismissing them later in 2010.[17]

Involvement in EU referendum campaign, 2016

During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Collett was seen campaigning for Vote Leave and was featured in news articles by daily newspapers, alongside his neo-Nazi partner Eva Van Housen. BBC News later reported that Vote Leave demanded Collett and Van Housen stop using their Brexit campaign materials.[18]

Patriotic Alternative

In 2019, Collett formed a group called Patriotic Alternative, of which he is currently the leader.[6][19] The Times revealed in October 2021 that Collett attended combat training with former members of the now-proscribed Neo-Nazi organisation National Action.[20]

Political views

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Collett is a white supremacist with close ties to other white supremacists.[3]

Elections contested

Date of election Constituency Party Votes %
2005 Leeds Central BNP 1,201 4.1[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ Nigel Morris and Tom Peck (5 April 2010). "BNP official arrested over claims he threatened to kill Nick Griffin". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "YouTube cashes in on neo-Nazi's hate videos". The Sunday Times. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Mark Collett: Britain's Alt Right Social Media Propagandist". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Anti-fascists warn of new antisemitic group with neo-Nazi adherents". Jewish News. 17 August 2020.
  5. ^ Townsend, Mark (2021). "How far right uses video games and tech to lure and radicalise teenage recruits". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  6. ^ a b "British far right 'becoming more racist' after Black Lives Matter protests, report finds". The Independent. 15 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  7. ^ Collett, Mark. "Mark Collett Banned on Twitter". Patriotic Alternative. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b Channel 4 documentary Dispatches: Young, Nazi and Proud (2002)
  9. ^ a b Morris, Nigel; Peck, Tom (4 April 2010). "BNP official arrested over claims he threatened to kill Nick Griffin". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Naziboy". RE:Brand. UK Play.
  11. ^ Editorial team Archived 7 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Identity website, accessed 26 November 2008
  12. ^ "BNP leader cleared of race hate". BBC News. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  13. ^ Davies, Caroline (11 October 2009). "BBC faces inquiry calls after BNP comment on Ashley Cole on Radio 1". The Guardian online. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  14. ^ "BBC's Radio 1 rapped for BNP's Ashley Cole interview". The Daily Telegraph. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  15. ^ Adam Gabbatt and Matthew Taylor (4 April 2010). "BNP official Mark Collett questioned over alleged threat to kill Nick Griffin". The Guardian.
  16. ^ "'We won't be voting for Hitler fan'". Sheffield Star. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Police to take no further action over plot to kill head of BNP Nick Griffin". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. 14 November 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Vote Leave tell ex-BNP official Mark Collett to stop using their material". BBC News. London. 27 May 2016.
  19. ^ Holt, Jared (5 May 2020). "White Nationalist YouTuber Goes Dark After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  20. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (9 October 2021). "At the gym, in the hills, the far-right fight clubs where men train to make Britain white". The Times. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  21. ^ The Guardian, 7 May 2005