There has been a lot of chatter on Twitter today about a series of anti-lockdown events, supposedly organised by a group called UK Freedom Movement.
Posters have been circulating on social media, covered by local newspapers, which encourage people to attend mass gatherings this weekend – protesting the current coronavirus lockdown.
Many have been suggesting this whole debacle is a front for Britain First – the far-right group.
However, that’s not the case – for a couple of reasons.
People are claiming that UK Freedom Movement is owned by Jayda Fransen – formerly deputy leader of Britain First.
However, even if UKFM was owned by Fransen (it isn’t), she is no longer a part of Britain First, having stepped down in 2019. Later that year, it was revealed that the leader of the party, Paul Golding, had admitted to assaulting Fransen and another woman.
Fransen runs a group called “Britain Freedom Movement”, which sounds a lot like UKFM, but is actually a completely different organisation.
Indeed, the name of Fransen’s group has annoyed the real founder of UKFM – Richard Inman – who has accused Fransen of “imitating” his project.
Speaking on his YouTube channel earlier this month, Inman said: “Anyone that knows me knows that I founded the UK Freedom Movement… in June 2018.”
Addressing Fransen’s new group directly, Inman carries on to say: “When I saw that Jayda Fransen had called her group the British Freedom Movement, my first reaction was to smile and say “how original.”
“I and the UK Freedom Movement have nothing to do with the British Freedom Movement… No animosity towards these people whatsoever, they can do what they want, but I just wish they were a bit more original.”
However, though UKFM is not associated with Jayda Fransen, Inman is a big supporter of far-right figure Tommy Robinson.
Inman was even invited to give a speech outside the Old Bailey in July 2019, when Robinson was facing a contempt of court charge. During his speech, Inman said: “Anyone that knows Tommy [Robinson] knows that he’s a beautiful human being.”
In another twist, however, the UKFM claims it has nothing to do with the events. A representative for the organisation told Scram News that another group using exactly the same name is organising the protests.
So it doesn’t look like a Britain First project. But who exactly is behind these gatherings we’re not entirely sure.