SCOTLAND is home to the “most active” chapter of an organisation described as the largest “fascist threat” in the UK, according to a new report.

Patriotic Alternative (PA) describes itself as a “community-building and activism group” trying to “raise awareness of issues such as the demographic decline of native Britons in the United Kingdom, the environmental impact of mass immigration and the indoctrination and political bias taking place in British schools”.

In a new report published today, anti-fascism campaigners Hope Not Hate say the group – which met strong condemnation last summer after scaling Ben Nevis with a “white lives matter” banner – has become the “largest and most active” organisation of its kind.

According to the report, the group, which endorses an ethnonationalist ideology, now has an online reach of more than 13,000 people on the Telegram messaging app alone, with up to 250 offline activists across the country. These include a number in Scotland, where the organisation’s “most active” group is said to be.

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The findings are based on the infiltration of (PA) message boards and meetings which include prayer-style praise for Adolf Hitler and racist language directed towards black and minority ethnic NHS staff.

Joe Mulhall, director of research at Hope Not Hate, said: “Patriotic Alternative is a deeply fascist organisation, and is, in fact, the largest fascist organisation active in the UK today.

“The views that Patriotic Alternative hold are very similar to those of the Nazis that we as a society actively reject and revile. We now have a responsibility to recognise that this type of hatred has a new face and reject its presence in our local towns and communities.

“Patriotic Alternative tries very hard to adopt a respectable face for the public, whether through litter picking or local campaigning. This makes the reality of the threat the group pose harder to spot, but it is crucial that we remain vigilant and create a social cost for identifying as a member of Patriotic Alternative or showing support for the group. It is vital that we raise awareness now so that this group does not grow and become an acceptable face for hate.”

Researchers found the Scottish branch of the organisation, which is led by former BNP publicity head Mark Collett, is its “most active” section and linked to smaller sub-regional groups. A regional conference took place in October and the report found PA Scotland has more than 1500 subscribers to its channel on Telegram. Meanwhile, PA Scotland members were found to have posted statements suggesting in relation to Covid-19 that “we should organise mass infection ... get some infected fluid spread through some ethnic shops”, calling a biracial child a “simian” and suggesting that a woman and her child should get “onto the train and into the showers”.

Some of those involved have been traced to Stenhousemuir, Glenrothes and West Lothian.

It tells how some members were previously involved in the Scottish Defence League, with members attracted from across right-wing organisations including Ukip. It further details how several banner drops took place in August, coinciding with Indigenous People’s Day (IPD) and including one on the Pentlands.

“The majority of the pictures appear to have been of the same banner, used on several different days across a wide array of locations. There also appears to have been a day of action that roughly 13 people attended, again suggesting that the Scottish branch is amongst the largest in PA, with perhaps as many as 25 activists willing to take part in the IPD actions” the report said.

​READ MORE: Former BNP members among new recruits for far-right group

The report also documents links between senior PA figures and members of National Action, with photographs featuring those from both groups taken months after the latter was proscribed under UK anti-terror laws. It further claims that Dean Morrice, a Somerset-based Nazi convicted of stockpiling explosives earlier this year, was active in PA’s online milieu.

A spokesperson for PA said: “Hope Not Hate are a far-left, anti-white organisation with a known history of attacking, lying about and misrepresenting good people. Luckily, they get no engagement on their social media accounts and nobody takes them seriously apart from a handful of opportunistic journalists. We’re pleased our opposition has acknowledged our rapid growth though.”

In August, the John Muir Trust said it was “deeply angered” by the summit stunt: “We did not and would not authorise permission for a film on our land that is counter to our belief that wild places are for all.”