A children’s sports coach who heads a far right group in Scotland has been condemned after describing his organisation as “racial nationalist”.
Kenny Smith is a former British National Party (BNP) member and election candidate who now acts as the national organiser for Patriotic Alternative (PA) Scotland.
PA has been accused of being “openly fascist” and The Ferret revealed in February that some of its supporters in Scotland posted racist and anti-Semitic messages along with disturbing neo-nazi images in a private group on messaging app Telegram.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism said PA had a “deeply worrying fixation with recruiting impressionable young people to its far-right ideology” and urged those caring for young people to be vigilant of the group.
Recent infighting within PA has seen documents, messages and audio from leading figures leaked by disillusioned former members who claim the group’s followers are being led to “a ruinous end”. By analysing these materials, The Ferret has been able to confirm Smith’s identity.
On 10 August, Smith featured on a far right podcast which has reportedly described itself as “Britain’s most racist podcast”. During the recording, Smith said he is originally from the Western Isles and will be 49 this year.
He told the podcast host he had been involved in “racial nationalism” since 1991, which is when he went to his first BNP meeting in Glasgow.
He recalled listening to “skinhead music” including neo-nazi bands Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack, and handing out BNP leaflets at an anti-abortion rally held by the late Northern Irish DUP politician, Ian Paisley, in Stornoway in 1998.
Smith called PA a “racial nationalist organisation” which would not be active if “our country was an ethnostate”.
The far-right organiser advised PA members to keep a low profile online, avoid using “racial slurs” and do things “by the book” in order not to attract the attention of security services. “We want our youngsters to keep their head down, finish their education and get a good job,” he said.
Smith also discussed his group’s recent trip to Ben Nevis where they displayed a “White Lives Matter” banner at the summit, a stunt that was condemned by local MP Ian Blackford and the The John Muir Trust. He also plans to launch overseas branches of PA.
We understand that Smith previously ran holiday accommodation on the Isle of Skye, as revealed by the Anti Fascist Research Collective. Smith linked to the accommodation’s website, which we are not naming, in his social media profiles. The accommodation’s Facebook page has also been taken down in recent weeks.
A spokesperson for the accommodation said Kenny Smith had not lived at or run the accommodation “for many years now” and had no further connection with the property.
Smith also claimed to coach primary school children for a sports club on Skye in his social media profiles. The far right activist said in the podcast published on 10 August that he does “sports coaching in his spare time”.
We linked Smith’s mobile number – displayed in a leaked Telegram message and included on a leaked document – to the sports club’s website, which lists Smith as a coach and provides his contact details.
The site also lists a landline phone number for Smith in 2016 – which we linked to his former accommodation – and included his contact email in a 2018 news release. A spokesperson for the club, which The Ferret is not naming, said Smith was no longer a coach and had no further connection with the organisation.
The group, which has shown young people attending its events in promotional videos, had actively targeted younger recruits and ran Call of Duty gaming tournaments for its supporters, according to the Guardian.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Patriotic Alternative has long had a deeply worrying fixation with recruiting impressionable young people to its far-right ideology, including through online gaming, social media, and summer camps.
“For one of the group’s leaders to have been involved in children’s sports will have given the organisation yet more scandalous exposure to youngsters. We urge all those with a duty of care to minors to ensure that they are protected from dangerous ideological indoctrination.”
Scottish Labour’s Highlands and Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant, said: “This shocking case is a reminder that there is absolutely no room for complacency when it comes to tackling racism and hatred.
“Nowhere is immune from the reach of the far right, but in Skye and across Scotland they are thankfully a small minority. The rest of us must all stand and work together against this hateful ideology.”
The white nationalist PA was set up in 2019 by Mark Collett, a Leeds-based extremist who was previously head of publicity for the BNP. The Ferret reported last week that PA Scotland allegedly compiled a list of around 60 organisations and individuals in Scotland who oppose racism and fascism.
A leaked image shows the document was edited and commissioned by Smith, having been authored by Steve Blake, the BNP’s former webmaster and lead candidate in Scotland.
Blake once ran company importing Nazi propaganda from the US in the 1980s, according to The Guardian.
Blake, Smith, and his wife, Nicholla were among six BNP members taken to court in 2008 by then-leader Nick Griffin following fierce party infighting. Griffin also accused Smith of being responsible for the mass leaking of the BNP’s membership.
Blake did not respond to our request for comment.
Leaks in the Far Right: ‘I want a cult’
Infighting within PA Scotland has seen disillusioned former members condemn Smith and other senior members.
Former member Fraser Hudson, whose identity was revealed by the Antifascist Research Collective, held a live stream where he claimed prospective PA members were subjected to home visits. Members must then present identification cards and utility bills to prove their identity, he said.
Hudson alleged that Smith asked him to target and infiltrate individuals involved in anti fascist groups. “All the conversations that we did ever have about this ended with things like: ‘You have to have a strong constitution. You get my drift?”, claimed Hudson.
Hudson added that Smith asked him to infiltrate anti fascist groups. On 4 March, Smith messaged and sent an audio message, asking the recipient to find out the identity of a member of the anti facist activist group, Antifa, by visiting the registrar’s office in Inverness.
Smith claimed to be in possession of the suspected Antifa member’s passport, but did not think it was “genuine”. “When this guy’s found, there’s not going to be a happy outcome,”he added.
After becoming disillusioned with Smith and PA, Hudson started to leak such voice notes. This led to a home visit from two PA members at 7am the following day, Hudson claimed, adding that he did not open his door.
Hudson told The Ferret: “I have left Patriotic Alternative and have spoken out against the members of the leadership that are clear as day leading good honest men and women to a ruinous end. As for the anti British press I have nothing to say to cretins like yourself.”
Another PA supporter, Kris Kearns – described by HOPE Not Hate as a “British Fascist” – outlined his aspirations for PA in a leaked voice message.
He said: “I want a cult. I want fanatics, people who are willing to die for this cause. That’s the level of commitment I want and expect… We want a hardcore group of people who know exactly what they want. It’s that simple.”
Kris Kearns, Kenny Smith and Patriotic Alternative Scotland did not respond to our requests to comment.