A British nationalist politician yesterday (14 June) claimed he was chased out of a London quarter because of violent threats from Muslims, but video evidence later revealed suggests the claim was fabricated.
Paul Golding, the leader of Britain First, said in a Facebook clip that he and his associates had fled from outside the East London Mosque in Whitechapel "because of threats, because of violence" from an "ever-increasing mob of Muslims and white liberals".
However, his claim was undermined by a film of his team being challenged politely by a small group of people, including two white women in Western dress.
In a three-minute rant, filmed from a moving car apparently after Golding had left Whitechapel, the former mayoral candidate claimed to have been met with "ferocious hostility" as he tried to record a campaign video outside one of Europe's largest mosques.
"It wouldn't have been too long before we were physically attacked. We jumped in the car because we thought 'this is getting out of control' and we're leaving the area," he said.
He described Whitechapel, which is home to Britain's largest Muslim community, as a "no-go area" and urged his followers to "rise up" because "our country's being taken from us".
He also acknowledged – without appearing to notice the contradiction – that one of his detractors was a "dopey blond white woman" who enjoyed living in an ethnically diverse community.
Footage of the actual incident was not shared by Britain First, but by other witnesses.
It showed Golding being interrupted primarily by the two white women and then by a Muslim man, who accuse Golding of trying to stir up trouble.
Golding then becomes quite animated, launching a tirade against Islam. Another Muslim man asks him to "chill, relax and have a good day". Eventually, Golding and his associates leave without duress.
The Britain First video also had Golding claiming that his team had "had things thrown at us" and "spat at" for "the heinous crime of standing on a British pavement and filming".
The raw footage shows that as they left, one of their leaflets was in fact thrown into the vehicle from off camera. There was no evidence of any spitting.
Britain First has never won a seat in a democratic election. In the 2016 London mayoral elections, Golding got 1.2% of the vote. He turned his back on the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan, when he gave his victory speech because Khan is a Muslim.
In the Britain First clip, while alleging that he had been chased out of Whitechapel by a violent mob, Golding also found time to reflect on local history.
"I know East London very well," he said. "I know a lot about the history. We are now about twenty foot from where Jack the Ripper killed one of his victims... it's our people that used to live here."