Pro-Brexit activist said all Muslims should be removed from UK
Video found of James Goddard, part of group who barracked Anna Soubry, arguing Islam should be banned from west
The most prominent of the protesters who have harassed MPs and journalists outside the Houses of Parliament in recent weeks argued last year that all Muslims should be removed from the UK, saying he wanted to “ban Islam from the west”, it has emerged.
In another indication of the far-right views held by several of the self-styled yellow vest activists stationed outside parliament, ostensibly to call for Brexit, a video exists of James Goddard arguing that Islam should be removed from the UK.
Goddard, who has regularly filmed himself and other activists harassing and abusing people including the Conservative MP Anna Soubry, has built up his profile by live-streaming confrontations to Facebook and seeking donations to finance his actions.
However, following calls from the Speaker, John Bercow, as well as from more than 100 MPs for a stronger response from the police after a group including Goddard barracked Soubry as she walked to parliament, his Facebook and Paypal pages were removed.
Goddard’s page on the mass-funding website Patreon, on which he styled himself a “political activist” and sought donations, has also been suspended.
The video, uploaded in September, shows Goddard engaged in a long debate about Islam with Jaffer Ladak, the imam of a mosque in Stanmore, north London.
During the conversation, Goddard said that the estimated 2,000 mosques around the UK “shouldn’t be there” and he would “get rid of them”.
Asked what this meant in practice, Goddard said: “I wouldn’t blow them up. If I ever got into power I’d give you all £5,000 to £10,000 and ask you to leave. I don’t believe that Islam should be in the west, no. This is a Christian country.”
If Muslims refused to leave voluntarily, “then we’d have to think of a legal way that we could do it”, he said.
Goddard said he wanted to “ban Islam from the west”, calling the faith “a threat to every man, woman and child in this country”. He added: “I just don’t think that Islam is compatible with the west. I just don’t think that people who believe in child marriage and terrorism should be in the United Kingdom, or Europe for that matter. That book poses a threat, and as long as that book exists there will never be peace in the west.”
Goddard has previously posted anti-Islam statements on Gab, a social media site popular with the far right, and has supported Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the founder of the English Defence League street movement.
Other yellow vest activists outside the Houses of Parliament, who model their tactics on the French gilets jaunes movement, have said they do not share such views, and insist Goddard is not a leader of the group.
However, the group Hope Not Hate has said that the emergence of the movement raises fears that amid the Brexit process, “the threat from the far right is growing and the risk of disorder and violence is on the rise”.
In recent weeks, members of the group outside parliament have also blocked Westminster Bridge, shouted sometimes sexist and racist abuse at TV crews, stormed into the offices of a radio station and the Labour party, and held small demonstrations in a number of cities.