Today, The Herald on Sunday’s exclusive investigation carried out by our Writer At Large exposes extremists linked to the Scottish Conservatives and SNP

SCOTLAND is at the epicentre of a seismic split within the British far-right. The schism has left the far right badly damaged and weakened across the UK.

The fracture saw the entire Scottish contingent of the far right organisation Patriotic Alternative (PA) break away, taking with them a sizeable number of extremists from England and the rest of Britain.

Every member of PA in Scotland has left the organisation and set up a new movement called “Homeland”. The breakaway group is led by Scots. A significant number of PA members across England and Wales have joined with the Scottish wing, and left the organisation for Homeland.

Investigations into the split, carried out by the anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate, which monitors far-right extremism in Britain, and The Herald on Sunday, have also pinpointed a number of individuals, some of whom have links to mainstream politics in Scotland. They include:

1) a PA member, believed to have defected to Homeland, who worked as a cameraman at SNP party conferences, and COP26;

2) a former Scottish Conservative candidate who attended PA rallies, targeting refugee accommodation in Scotland;

3) and a PA member, also believed to have defected to Homeland, who sits on a community council in the Angus region


Hope Not Hate has monitored PA for years. Last month, The Herald on Sunday investigated how the small Scottish town of Erskine found itself at the heart of demonstrations by PA targeting refugees housed at a local hotel. The far-right demonstrations triggered a series of counter-protests led by Scottish trade unionists.

The events prompted a wave of criticism from the SNP, Greens, the STUC, refugee organisations, and anti-racist campaigners towards the Conservative Party. It is blamed for creating a fertile breeding ground for far-right extremism in Scotland through austerity policies, Britain’s “broken” immigration system, and inflammatory rhetoric scapegoating refugees.

Protests by PA, which Hope Not Hate brand “a neo-Nazi organisation”, took place at Erskine’s Muthu Hotel, where refugees seeking asylum are housed. PA used inflammatory rhetoric, claiming the hotel housed “almost 200 unvetted fighting age migrant males”. Police have been monitoring “community tensions”.


ONE of PA’s leading Scottish activists, Kenny Smith, made fiery speeches outside the hotel to chants of “Erskine says no” from supporters. Smith posted videos on social media about Britain becoming a “white minority”. He refers to opponents as “commie ladyboys”, “marxist freaks”, and “filth”.

PA has staged protests outside hotels across Britain, from Cornwall to Lincolnshire. Following a riot at Knowsley in Merseyside, during which a police vehicle was burned, local MP George Howarth said he had “concerns about the involvement of far-right groups from outside of Knowsley such as Patriotic Alternative … seeking to stir up racial hatred”. The MP asked whether the UK Government was considering outlawing PA.

PA is led by Mark Collett, a former leading member of the BNP. In 2021, The Jewish Chronicle reported that Collett “promoted Mein Kampf to thousands of followers online”. Collett was covertly filmed in a 2002 documentary called Young, Nazi And Proud, admitting he admired Hitler, and describing Aids as a “friendly disease” as “blacks, drug users and gays have it”.

When The Herald on Sunday spoke to Collett in March, he said: “We’re unashamedly pro-white and stand up for the interests of the indigenous people of these islands: white British people.”

When asked if PA protests intimidated those in hotels, he responded by calling refugees “criminals” for “entering the country illegally”. Collett added: “This tells me everything I need to know about the anti-white bias the media employs. What you’re trying to do is build a story that there are unfortunate refugees in hotels who feel marginalised – their feelings are hurt – and then nasty neo-Nazis turn up and scare them.”


FORMER PA member Kristofer Kearney recently pleaded guilty to disseminating terrorist publications. He is said to have been an active member of a group called National Action until just before it was banned for glorifying the murder of MP Jo Cox. He then switched to PA, it is claimed. It is believed he became PA’s “head of fitness”.

When the case of Kearney was put to Collett, he claimed: “He pleaded guilty to recklessness.” That claim is false. Collett was a “child prodigy” within the BNP, and very close to former leader Nick Griffin.

Collett said that as an “ethno-nationalist” he “desires a largely ethnically homogenous country”. He added: “Protests will continue all over the country until this issue is solved.”

The split in PA, which led to the establishment of the breakaway far-right organisation Homeland, centres on rivalry between Collett and Scotland’s Kenny Smith. They have a bitter history going back to their days in the BNP under Griffin.

Hope Not Hate investigator Gregory Davis said: “The Scottish branch of PA was previously among its strongest, if not the strongest.” However, as far back as 2021, there were signs of schisms forming. “It was clear there was always the possibility of a split and that the Scottish branch wouldn’t necessarily retain their allegiance to the national organisation.”


AN early hint of discontent came when a small but very extreme splinter group in Scotland broke away from PA called the “Highland Division”. However, the latest split and the creation of Homeland, “represents a much bigger blow to PA because it involves the entirety of the Scottish branch”, said Davis, adding: “The whole Scottish branch has left and gone over to Homeland.

“A number of other key organisers from PA across the rest of the country have also gone over to Homeland, including some of their regional organisers. Some really big names within PA have gone over to Homeland.”

The split started at the highest levels of PA. “Many of the organisation’s officers were taken by surprise by the split, let alone the rank and file.” Davis said it is still too early to say how many ordinary PA members will “stay loyal” to Collett or switch to Homeland.

According to Davis, Homeland’s new “leader”, Kenny Smith, is claiming that at least half of PA’s members defected, along with “more than half of PA’s officers”. Smith is boasting that 31 of PA’s 54 officers have defected. Davis says it is significant PA is not “disputing” Smith’s claims. However, the term “officer”, he noted, “might be a little too grand”. A PA officer could simply be someone who “writes social media posts” for one of the organisation’s branches.

Davis was struck by the role Scotland played in the split. “We haven’t been able to identify any Scottish members who stayed with PA. There doesn’t even seem to be any rump PA organisation left in Scotland.”

Smith was PA’s “national administration officer” before leading the split. That made him “a major figure” in the organisation, according to Davis. Another prominent PA leader in Scotland was Simon Crane, who has also defected to Homeland. He was PA’s Scottish “regional organiser”.

ERSKINE, SCOTLAND - MARCH 12: Members of the Patriotic Alternative protest outside the Muthu Glasgow Hotel which is housing refugees on March 12, 2023 in Erskine, Scotland. The Home Office and MEARS have placed detained asylum seekers in the Muthu

ERSKINE, SCOTLAND - MARCH 12: Members of the Patriotic Alternative protest outside the Muthu Glasgow Hotel which is housing refugees on March 12, 2023 in Erskine, Scotland. The Home Office and MEARS have placed detained asylum seekers in the Muthu


THE split wasn’t ideological in nature, but essentially about the way that Mark Collett was “directing the organisation”. There is anger that Collett repeatedly failed to get PA registered as a political party. Homeland, Davis said, wants to create a far-right organisation that is “a more functional and focused version of PA. They aren’t diverging from each other in terms of their politics or what they believe”.

Smith is also believed to have been unhappy that Collett “spent too much time on online content and too little on organising offline activities”.

Collett, on the other hand, was opposed to the recruitment system that Smith established within PA. “Smith had been running a very tight system for vetting new members,” said Davis, “which involves them sending two forms of ID to Smith and him then arranging a visit to their homes – so senior members of PA come round to your house if you want to join.”


LIKE all far-right groups, PA is deeply paranoid due to the level of infiltration it has experienced. Journalists, anti-fascists, and police and British intelligence officers have all penetrated far-right organisations in the UK over the years. “PA was a basket case in terms of security,” Davis added. “People have infiltrated them and obtained lots of information, including about protests.”

Smith had insisted that his stringent vetting procedures “were necessary for the security and safety of the movement. Collett argued that this was putting off new members. He worried that people wouldn’t want to join or attend protests if they had to send in ID and undergo a home visit”. Davis added that Collett has stated some new members who had attended PA conferences and donated money were kicked out of the movement as they wouldn’t agree to Smith’s vetting procedures, including some who were known to the leadership for 10 years or more.

“Smith is certainly putting a very high price on this. But then PA had been severely burned in the past. However, what Smith is doing is putting obstacles in the way of perspective members who might be curious about the group. People who want to join might agree with their aims, but if your opening gambit is ‘send us your ID and let us come to your house’, people may well be put off, especially if they aren’t yet fully radicalised.”


HOWEVER, bad blood between Collett and Smith was also a big factor in the break. “They were on opposite sides of a very acrimonious, bitter split in the BNP in the late 2000s.” The BNP schism occurred at the same time the party’s entire membership details were leaked online by someone on the inside.

“Smith and Collett absolutely loathed each other,” Davis said. “Smith ran a blog where he largely attacked Nick Griffin. Collett was a big part of why people hated Griffin so much, as Griffin was perceived as protecting Collett.

“What’s more surprising than the current split is that Smith and Collett were ever able to bury the hatchet in the first place and be in PA together. However, it seems the hatchet was far from buried. Smith may have been working towards this outcome for longer than he’s letting on. It’s a bit hard to believe they became friends after such a nasty dispute.”

The creation of the new breakaway Homeland organisation means “the UK’s most successful active fascist group has split itself in half”. Davis said the far right “tends towards schism and infighting as the people involved are fundamentally very unpleasant”, adding: “They aren’t given to kindness, honesty and loyalty to each other. They’re generally very bitter, hateful and ambitious, so the split isn’t really surprising in that sense.”




THE split means that far-right protests against refugees in Scotland “are now run by Homeland by default as all the members who attended PA demonstrations are now Homeland members”. The protests, however, had already suffered dwindling numbers. Another Scottish protest by Homeland is scheduled for today.

To date, however, Homeland has been relatively inactive. It has created a website and branding. “So far, in terms of messaging, it’s all very similar to PA,” Davis added.

Currently, Smith is Homeland’s leader – or “chairman” – but it is believed he doesn’t want to remain in charge. “He’s more a backroom guy,” said Davis. “He likes admin and process, but doesn’t want to be the figurehead”.

On the national stage, the split “undermines the British far right massively”, Davis explained. The most active far-right group of “ethno-nationalists” in Britain has lost many members and been reduced in size. The two groups will now have to compete for new members – and become rivals in terms of political activism and demonstrations.

It is a further wound to Collett who is seen by many in the far right as a “very divisive, toxic figure”. However, Davis added that “nobody on the far right is massively enthusiastic about Kenny Smith either, though he carries less stigma internally than Collett, and is seen as less of a hate figure within their ranks”.

Davis suggested that Homeland could also implode soon. “Splinter groups often collapse on the far right,” he said. “It’s very hard to set up a new organisation with limited funds and without access to the tools of the previous group. Groups that result from splits are inherently unstable. The new members are all effectively founders, so they will all have relatively the same seniority.

“When Kenny Smith tries to choose the new leader, the old rivalries will come to the fore. Collett had overall authority in PA as he set it up and everyone who achieved rank had it personally granted by him. The members of Homeland won’t owe that same loyalty to Smith. They can say to him ‘I’m entitled to rank as we founded this together’.”


FOR Hope Not Hate, any split within the far right “is positive”. Davis said: “All their energy gets drawn into bitter infighting – energy which would otherwise be used to spread hatred and pursue their ugly aims. This fundamentally weakens the far right. And with any split there is always quite significant leaking of sensitive information as they try to gain advantage over each other.

“That often involves them picking up the phone to journalists or anti-fascist organisations like us. Though, obviously it remains to be seen how effective Homeland will be. If they are more effective than PA, then the split would be a net negative.”

The nature of the split points to “the constant level of paranoia within the far right. They all know someone will be out to backstab them as they recognise that in themselves – they expect disloyalty and jostling for position”.

Davis said that Hope Not Hate has categorised Homeland as a “neo-Nazi” organisation given it broke away from PA which the anti-fascist group also defines as “neo-Nazi”.

Homeland, he said, “is committed to trying to stand for election and to becoming a more professional, proactive and ‘community-based’ organisation. They don’t want to fundamentally shift their ideology, though, to do that”. Scots identified as PA members are now members of Homeland, Davis claimed. “There are no PA members left in Scotland – they all left and joined Homeland.”


PA MEMBERS identified include one individual who filmed at SNP conferences and COP26. He has spoken online with other far-right extremists discussing his work as a cameraman at SNP events. One poster, who engaged with him about the SNP, said: “Every Scottish person should see this and tool up immediately.”

He said online that he attended “a 3-day conference and about 70% was all LGBT s**t, migrants being allowed to vote and stand for office, trans rights … fill a party with gays and migrants and its what youre gonna get [sic]”.

In an online discussion about voting, he said: “The boogaloo isn’t the answer.” The “boogaloo” is far-right code for a violent uprising. He also refers to “being at an SNP conference … in 2015”. When questioned online about working at COP26, he replied: “They paying me [sic] loads of money to do nothing for two weeks.”

He also filmed at prominent Scottish music festivals featuring famous bands. One post refers to him “filming The Killers”.

Regarding the individual, an SNP spokesman said: “This individual was hired by a subcontractor, not directly by the party. We welcome this being uncovered and he will not be at any future SNP events.” A second PA member identified sits on a community council in the Angus region. He was involved in unfurling a giant “White Lives Matter” banner near Dundee.

A spokesman for the community council said they were “shocked by the allegation that one of its new members has been associated with a far-right organisation”.

“Membership of community councils is apolitical, but it is imperative that we all adhere to the terms of the Community Councillors’ Code of Conduct, which includes the Equality and Human Rights Commission rules, at all times,” they said.

“We are grateful that this has been brought to our attention and will investigate further.”

In a separate investigation, a former Scottish Conservative Party candidate was filmed attending a PA demonstration in Scotland earlier this year. He stood unsuccessfully for the Scottish Conservatives at council elections. The Scottish Conservatives said: “This individual ceased to be a party member in October 2022, and therefore was not a member at the time of this event.”

The Herald on Sunday contacted Mark Collet of PA via email requesting an interview. No response was forthcoming.

Kenny Smith, Homeland chairman, said: “Homeland has been founded by some of the most determined advocates for our people. In recent years, these dedicated organisers and activists have been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness about the stark future facing the indigenous peoples of these islands.

“Homeland believe the most important unit in society is the family. We aim to promote traditional values and create a safe place to raise children. We believe in creating high-trust communities where people help their neighbours. Our political solution is community politics with the aim of being elected to serve the community.

“Our team is committed to the above aims and we believe we are the only political party taking this focused approach. We will continue to engage in other forms of community politics, not necessarily connected to elections and also to encouragement and promotion of recreational activities for Party Members and supporters.”