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In the Right

Investigative journalist Lara Whyte reports on the rise of the new wave of female hardline right-wing activists, a band of reactionary influencers gaining a huge online following.

Investigative journalist Lara Whyte reports on the rise of a new wave of female hardline right wing activists. While this end of the political spectrum has been commonly associated with angry men - often skinheads, wearing braces and steel-toed boots - Lara investigates the young women who are bringing fresher faces to the movement.

Anti-extremism expert Julia Ebner, who has infiltrated multiple far-right groups, reveals that many of these organisations have begun actively recruiting young women in the hopes of softening their public image and potentially increasing their mainstream appeal.

We hear from Lucy Brown who underwent a political transformation that saw her quit Black Lives Matter and end up working alongside Tommy Robinson, the former head of the English Defence League. Lara also speaks to Canadian YouTube "star" Lauren Southern who was banned from entering the UK in 2018 following a highly offensive protest.

Many of the women Lara speaks to are outspoken critics of Islam and enraged by the grooming gang scandals for which they blame Muslim culture, including a member of 120 Decibels, a campaign group founded in Germany with the aim of combatting what they call "imported sexual violence" towards women committed by illegal immigrants.

Lara explains that most of the young women in this political movement reject the term "far-right", despite getting routinely labelled as such in the media and by anti-extremist think tanks.

She concludes with a discussion of the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. The killer used language and symbols pushed by women featured in this programme - and Lara argues this offers a chilling reminder of the dangers that can come out of some of their ideas.

Presenter: Lara Whyte
Producer: Max O'Brien
A TBI production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Tue 26 Mar 2019 16:00