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On the 12th of February 2023 Douglas Murray, Author and political commentator, wrote the following tweet:

Evidence from official UK government report shows radical far-left group ‘Hope Not Hate’ (⁦@hopenothate⁩) is in fact a radical extremist hate-group.

The tweet then references the following Mail Online news article: 'Rees-Mogg claims Brexit led anti-terror body to link him to far-right'. The Mail Online article makes no such claim that an official UK government report recognise ‘Hope Not Hate’ as a radical extremist hate group. The only reference to 'Hope Not Hate' in the Mail Online article is the following:

Those on the course were handed an essay by the Hope Not Hate campaign group which flagged up columns by Douglas Murray at the Spectator magazine, Rod Liddle at the Sunday Times and Melanie Phillips on the Times.

Essentially the Mail Online references the Independent Review of Prevent by William Shawcross CVO that reported that a Prevent workshop had used a report published by 'Hope Not Hate' called State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global. In the report Douglas Murray is listed as person responsible for the "normalisation and mainstreaming of Islamophobia".

The follow-up response to the Independent Review of Prevent also makes no reference to 'Hope Not Hate'.

Only some of the replies to the tweet question the validity of the claim made by Douglas Murray, would this be an example of blatant misinformation?

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    I am concerned that the original claim might be being misinterpreted, but I think it should stand because it is an obvious inference to make, and I think it is therefore notable. I suspect that Murray is not claiming that the report says Hope Not Hate is a hate group. Instead he is offering a personal opinion: the description in the report of what Hope Not Hate did (produce another report that Murray disagrees with about an actual hate group) was evidence to Murray himself that Hope Not Hate are a hate group. If so, his wording is rather ambiguous and misleading.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 13, 2023 at 2:46
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    "I am questioning the assertion that "an official UK government report shows ‘Hope Not Hate’ is a radical extremist hate-group"" But... that's not what the quote you show says. "Evidence from official UK government report shows radical far-left group ‘Hope Not Hate’ (⁦@hopenothate⁩) is in fact a radical extremist hate-group." It is entirely possible for a government report to contain "evidence" which "shows" something, without actually making the corresponding claim. Feb 14, 2023 at 1:31
  • I have moved the comments about the meaning of "transposition" to chat.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 15, 2023 at 8:37

3 Answers 3

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I am addressing the claim that the UK government officially recognise HOPE Not Hate as a radical extremist hate group.

The UK Government tracks hate crime statistics but doesn't track hate groups. Neither does the FBI in the USA - these groups are monitored by non-profit organisations like the Anti-Defamation League. the Southern Poverty Law Center, Canadian Anti-Hate Network and... yes: HOPE, Not Hate. [Ref: The report mentioned in the question].

What UK Government do maintain is a list of Proscribed terrorist groups or organisations.

It is of no great surprise that HOPE Not Hate, who "exists to challenge all kinds of extremism and build local communities" (according to their own site), do not appear on that list.

This is not the first set of accusations against Hope not Hate by right-leaning public figures. Former leader of UKIP Nigel Farage withdrew accusations that they were linked to extremism and pursue violence after a libel case against him was mounted.


As expressed in a comment, I am not convinced the original claim actually meant that HOPE Not Hate was officially listed as an extremist organisation by the UK government. It may have merely meant that Douglas Murray felt that their report itself demonstrated that, to his mind, they were extremist hate-group. If so, this is his political opinion, not a statement of fact. Both his political opinion and my opinion of his opinion are off-topic here.

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I'll address the question in the context of the Tweet, as I think there is a confusion due to the choice of language (which may or may not be intentional by Murray).

Murray is expressing his opinion in a rhetorical (aka clickbait) way that the report shows that Hope Not Hate - in what critics would claim is its overreach and misrepresentation of centrist and conservative figures as "far right" is itself extremist. He points to the article as evidence of that claim.

His tweet says the report "shows" not "recognises", as in the question title (and more particularly, evidence from the report, rather than the report as a whole). This is a difference which changes the emphasis somewhat.

The former usage indicates it is his conclusion of the report's findings, the latter would make a claim about the report itself's conclusion.

In only the latter case (if the claim were true, and if the report officially expressed ministerial position) could a governmental opinion be derived.

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    TBH such hair splitting would not fly in a libel lawsuit, especially by UK's standards thereof. Whether HNH is inclined to pursue that is another matter. Feb 14, 2023 at 3:10
  • IANAL but considering the context I would imagine HNH would be quite cautious in pursuing any legal matter that would draw attention to their own behaviour in that regard. I've added a parenthesis note though, to increase the thickness of the "hair"... Feb 14, 2023 at 7:32
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The independent review of Prevent by William Shawcross was commissioned by the UK government, so Shawcross's conclusions published officially.

The review quoted an magazine essay (p.23) published by Hope Not Hate and used in a Prevent course, which included a sentence saying three journalists (one of whom was Douglas Murray) had spread negative views about Islam and Muslims.

None of the Shawcross review statements labelled Hope Not Hate as a radical extremist hate-group. Instead the review said the Hope Not Hate material on the Extreme Right-Wing also included pro-Brexit and centre right commentators. The review statement on this was

"These are clearly not like-for-like comparisons, are unhelpful, and should not be made."

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  • The OP already knows all of this. Both links are in the question.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 13, 2023 at 15:01
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    @Oddthinking If the OP knows "None of the Shawcross review statements labelled Hope Not Hate as a radical extremist hate-group" then why ask the question?
    – Henry
    Feb 13, 2023 at 15:03
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    I have argued: because they misunderstand the claim.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 13, 2023 at 15:04
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    @Oddthinking: or because the claim is intentionally written so as to be extremely misleading... Feb 14, 2023 at 7:35
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    @Fizz: There is little point speculating here about the ill intentions of the author. You can't provide evidence.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 14, 2023 at 21:34

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