Britain First falsely claims Mike Freer MP was attacked by ‘Islamist extremists’

Paul Golding, Britain First. Editorial credit: Edward Crawford /

The far-right Britain First organisation has told its supporters that “jihadists” burnt the officers of pro-Israel Tory MP Mike Freer in north London even though the police have already ruled out any hate crime motive.

Two non-Muslim homeless people were charged with arson last month over the attack on Freer’s office in Finchley, but that didn’t stop Britain First inciting its supporters against Muslims by trying to pin the blame on “radical Islamists.”

In a newsletter yesterday with the title “RADICAL ISLAM ON THE RISE,” Britain First told their subscribers: “It has emerged that a sitting Member of Parliament has been forced to step away from politics due to attacks and threats from Islamist extremists. Mike Freer, representing a seat in London, had his office burnt out by jihadists.

“Mr Freer said he – and his staff – would wear a stab vest, and carry a panic alarm, when meeting the public on the advice of police.

‘Mr Freer has received endless death threats, going back as far as 2011, from groups including ‘Muslims Against Crusades’, which was later classified as a terrorist organisation by the government and banned.”

The rest of the newsletter explained how “radical Islamists” are dominating the country before concluding that: “If things carry on the way they are, it will probably end in civil war.”

Yet last month police made it clear that the incident was not being treated as a hate crime.

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Paul Harwood, 42, and Zara Kasory, 32, both of no fixed address, were arrested on January 3 and have been charged with arson with intent.

Police were called at 19:06hrs on December 24 by the London Fire Brigade following a fire at the office in North Finchley. The fire was put out.

The Met commented: “Police are aware of widespread reporting and concern in the community and can confirm the incident involving Mr Freer’s office is not being treated as a hate crime. Mr Freer has been informed.”

Earlier this week Freer, Conservative MP for the north London constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, announced he would not seek re-election and said the “final straw” was the arson attack on his constituency office.

In a letter to his local Conservative association, he said it would “be an enormous wrench to step down”, but the attacks had “weighed heavily on me and my husband, Angelo.”

He said he and his staff had started wearing stab vests after learning he had narrowly avoided being attacked by Ali Harbi Ali, who went on to murder Southend West MP Sir David Amess in 2021 after watching for Mr Freer at his Finchley office.

“I was very lucky that actually on the day I was due to be in Finchley, I happened to change my plans and came into Whitehall. Otherwise who knows whether I would have been attacked or survived an attack. He said he came to Finchley to attack me.”

Since 2011 Britain First has promoted crude anti-Muslim rhetoric and have been criticised for promoting Islamophobia and xenophobia through their campaigns and demonstrations. The group often uses social media to disseminate their views and organise protests against Islam and immigration.

In 2016 Britain First leader Paul Golding was convicted for harassment and sentenced to eight weeks in prison for violating a court order that prohibited him from entering a mosque or encouraging others to do so in England and Wales.

In 2018, he was convicted and imprisoned for harassment relating to actions and statements targeting religious minorities, particularly Muslims.

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