Warnings over 'hardline fascist group' after 'vile' leaflets distributed

Phil Harris Bernard Road Cromer

Phil Harris, chair of the Labour Party in north Norfolk and resident of Bernard Road in Cromer, has contacted the police after leaflets were distributed by a group of far-right extremists. - Credit: Google/Courtesy of Phil Harris

The chairman of the Labour Party in north Norfolk has accused a hardline fascist group of 'fuelling racial tension' by distributing leaflets in Cromer - amid warnings of the organisation's attempts to 'sow division in communities'.

The group, called Patriotic Alternative (PA), posted pamphlets through postboxes in the town this month.

The leaflets include anti-migrant sentiment and calls for an end to immigration. 

Phil Harris, chair of the district's Labour Party and resident of Bernard Road, contacted police when the leaflets, which he described as "disturbing" and "vile", were distributed around the town earlier this week.

Phil Harris Labour Party north Norfolk

Phil Harris, chair of the Labour Party in north Norfolk, contacted police after receiving a 'disturbing' leaflet from hardline fascist group Patriotic Alternative. - Credit: Courtesy of Phil Harris

He was shocked that a far-right organisation had "targeted somewhere like Cromer", he said.

"The number of ethnic minorities in the town is relatively small, but there is a community here.

"For people living in Cromer this must be very upsetting," he added.

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A spokesperson for Norfolk Constabulary said: “Officers are aware of this leaflet being distributed in Cromer and continue to monitor any community tensions as a result.

"We would encourage anyone with concerns to contact local officers.”

Hope Not Hate

The group Hope Not Hate has investigated Patriotic Alternative's leadership and their links to extremists. - Credit: Hope Not Hate

An investigation by campaign group Hope Not Hate has found that many of Patriotic Alternative's leaders are ex-BNP members who have expressed extreme far-right and racist views.

On its website, PA describes itself as a "legal, non-violent, entirely above-board organisation who engages in peaceful community work and activism".

But David Lawrence, senior researcher at Hope Not Hate, said: "Patriotic Alternative is a hardline fascist group that tries to hide the true extremes of its ideology from the public.

"In reality PA is a band of extremists led by Hitler sympathisers and Holocaust deniers, motivated by a hatred of Jews and other minority groups."

He said the group’s leader, Mark Collett, has "repeatedly recommended Hitler’s Mein Kampf to his audience and hosts a show with a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan".

"PA remains very much a fringe group, but we should be wary of their attempts to sow division in communities for their own ends," Mr Lawrence added.

Last December, the group sparked anger after distributing similar leaflets in Norwich.