We fact-checked a laughable email about immigration that Britain First sent to its members

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Wednesday 23 December 2015 14:50
news

Christmas is the season of giving and goodwill, but it appears only the "giving" part caught Britain First's eye.

A letter asking its members for donations of £10 to strengthen the far-right group's "shield wall" was sent out by party leader Paul Golding on Tuesday night.

You might not be surprised to learn it was chock full of inflammatory statements and pictures conflating Islam with terrorism:

A screengrab from the Britain First email

So, dear readers, we fact-checked it. And we bet you won't believe what happened next.

Here are just some of the stats and percentages Golding spouted to party members, without citing any sources whatsoever.

Britain First says:

Native British people now make up only 75% of the total population down from approx 90% since 2001.

Reality says:

That is, er, completely wrong:

Only around eight per cent of the population are non-UK born, non UK-citizens, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Britain First says:

After thousands of years, London is finished as a British city as we are now in the minority in our own capital.

Reality says:

No one ethnicity in London has a majority - and white British people are still by far the biggest group.

We assume that by "we" Britain First means "native British people", which isn't actually a clearly defined or officially recognised census data grouping.

A screengrab from the Britain First email

The ONS says 45 per cent of London's population is White British, which is by far the biggest ethno-national grouping, and a further 15 per cent are from other white groups.

The next largest ethnic groups are Indian and Black African, which make up around just seven per cent of London's population each.

Britain First says:

Ethnic minority populations, particularly Muslim and Third World, have increased at an astonishing rate.

Reality says:

But the number of majority white immigrants from Europe, the US and Australasia is predicted to increase more quickly than the UK's ethnic minority populations will grow.

A University of Leeds study found that ethnic minorities are set to make up a fifth of the UK population by 2050 - and of course, that doesn't mean that these people are not 'native British', as Britain First would say.

Britain First says:

Looking to the maternity wards, we see the highest fertility rates among Muslims and those of the Third World who have been imported into this land.

Reality says:

Erm... they're going down, actually.

Putting aside the outdated descriptor "Third World", this is true at the moment, and fertility rates are historically higher among Muslims than Christians in the UK. However, as long ago as 2007 researchers have seen Muslim immigrant population birth rates drop across Europe to level out with the average birth rates.

The Pew Centre predicts that the fertility gap between foreign and UK-born people will continue to diminish from a 1.2 difference now to 0.8 by 2030.

Britain First says:

Over 40% of the population of Britain will be Muslim in just 20 years [sic] time.

Reality says:

This is just ludicrous.

According to the University of Oxford, if migration patterns stay the same as they currently are, the UK will still be made up of 70 per cent ethnically British, Irish and Scottish people by 2035.

Graph: Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

Of course, some of these people could be Muslim - but since there are currently only 2.7m Muslims in the UK (4.8 per cent of the population) and birth rates across the country are in decline, there's almost certainly no way 40 per cent of us will identify as Muslim in 2035.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission told i100.co.uk that the independent body has no regulatory powers over the content of party materials such as newsletters and leaflets.

Nevertheless, i100.co.uk has contacted Britain First to find out where it sourced its statistics.

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