Factsheet: Katie Hopkins
IMPACT: Katie Hopkins is a self-described “Christian conservative” English media personality and columnist for multiple media outlets. She uses her online platforms to spread misinformation and has a history of making anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-black comments.
Katie Hopkins currently writes a mixed-media column called Hopkins World for The Rebel Media, a far-right Canadian political and social commentary media website. A former Rebel staffer told Vice that The Rebel Media founder, Ezra Levant, is willing to put money into any reporter or story “as long as they are willing to say things about Muslims.” On The Rebel, Hopkins is listed as a Shillman fellow, a fellowship run through the anti-Muslim organization, David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), and funded by tech billionaire Robert Shillman.
Hopkins previously served as a columnist for the UK paper, The Sun, from October 2013 to September 2015, and Mail Online, affiliate website of The Daily Mail, from October 2015 to October 2017. Hopkins has also written columns for Breitbart, an online conservative media site which Atlantic journalist, Peter Beinart, describes as being filled with “generalized, anti-Muslim sentiment.”
Hopkins has made numerous derogatory and generalizing statements about Muslims, immigrants, and refugees in her columns, on her radio show, and on Twitter. In April 2015, Hopkins wrote a column for The Sun titled “Rescue boats? I’d use gunships to stop migrants” in which she began by stating “NO, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.” Later in the piece she called migrants in Britain “this plague of feral humans” and stated, “Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches.” The piece drew condemnation from the UN high commissioner for human rights, who compared the “remarks with hate language used before Rwandan genocide.”
From April 2016 to May 2017, Hopkins hosted a talk and phone-in radio show for LBC, a London based radio company. When speaking with a caller on her LBC radio show in January 2017, Hopkins stated, “Call me racist. I don’t care. I will stand up for white women being raped because you’re scared to offend Muslims,” and retweeted praise of her comments from a neo-Nazi account called AntiJuden.
In May 2017, following the Manchester Arena bombing, Hopkins tweeted that “we need a final solution”, echoing a Nazi euphemism for the Holocaust. In response, LBC and Hopkins agreed she would “leave her job at the radio station with immediate effect.”
During an appearance on Fox News shortly after the June 2017 London Bridge attack, Hopkins called for the use of internment camps to detain suspected terrorists, adding,“We need to hear 650 jihadis that returned to the UK are going to be incarcerated and deported and we need to hear that Saudi-backed mosques and extreme hate preachers and imams within those mosques are also going to be shut down and reported.”
In a December 2015 column for Mail Online, Hopkins falsely accused a British Muslim family of extremism and links to Al-Qaeda. In December 2016, Mail Online issued an apology to the family and paid them £150,000.
In January 2018 while in South Africa, Hopkins was detained and had her passport temporarily confiscated for spreading racial hatred. She had previously been banned from entering South Africa by the Deputy Minister of the Department of Home Services due to her “strong racist views.”
Hopkins has often tied Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, to violence in Europe, citing the month as a reason for attacks in France and the UK. On April 27, 2017, Hopkins tweeted, “Explosion in France, shooting at a German hospital, knife attack in London. And Ramadan has not yet begun. Without food these sods get nasty.” She later also tweeted that “Ramadan typically brings a spike in violence in Middle East. I get grumpy when I don’t eat – but I don’t blow things up. Religion of peace?”
Hopkin often claims that the UK has fallen due to an influx of migrants and refugees. In April 2018, Hopkins went to Sweden, and claimed that “Sweden is falling fast” due to “a decision by liberals to allow over 170,000 Afghans, Syrians and Africans into Sweden in a two year period.” She went on to declare there were “62 ‘no-go’ zones” — “so called ‘vulnerable areas’ where first responders cannot operate without being attacked.”
Hopkins has repeatedly warned of “no-go zones” in the UK and Europe where she claims there has been a rise of “de facto sharia law.” The myth of the “no-go zones” has been debunked.
Hopkins has collaborated with the Center for Security Policy (CSP), an American anti-Muslim think tank that promotes conspiratorial claims about an impending Muslim takeover of the United States. In early 2018, Hopkins spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on a CSP panel with Frank Gaffney, CSP’s founder and president. While at CPAC she warned the U.S. not to follow the path of Western Europe, otherwise it would become “unrecognizable” and “fall” to the “migrant invasion.” In 2018, Hopkins also appeared on CSP’s Secure Freedom Radio and spoke on a CSP panel in Dallas, Texas, with Raheem Kassam and others.
Hopkins is a vocal supporter of former Austrian Prime Minister, Sebastian Kurz. On Twitter, she praised the leader’s recent action to shut down seven mosques, stating, “Excellent by Austria. ‘Political Islam’s parallel societies and radicalizing tendencies have no place in our country,’ 7 mosques closed. 60 Extremist Imams booted out. Splendid work @sebastiankurz.”
After the arrest of Tommy Robinson, the co-founder of the far-right English Defence League (EDL), in May 2018, Hopkins joined the online protests calling for his release by issuing numerous tweets using the hashtag #FreeTommy. Robinson is also a Shillman fellow and contributor at The Rebel Media.
Hopkins has spoken several times at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a US-based, anti-Muslim conservative think tank, where, in March 2018, she said, “And if we now have de facto sharia, what’s next? If I commit adultery in the UK will I be stoned by angry Muslim policemen? Given my sexual history it’s not looking good…”
On Twitter, Hopkins frequently refers to the city of London as Londonistan, because she believes that under the leadership of mayor Sadiq Khan, who identifies as a Muslim, London has fallen to Muslim violence.
In December 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump tweeted his support of Hopkins after she supported his candidacy and proposed Muslim ban.
Hopkins has made numerous anti-Black statements. During her talks at the CSP and the DHFC, she claimed that white Christians are on the endangered species list like black rhinos, but “the black rhino has got the advantage because he’s black.” She also tweeted, “Dear black people. If your lives matter why do you stab and shoot each other so much.”
Hopkins has publicly criticized members of the LGBTQ and diasbled communities, tweeting “I am not transphobic. Just don’t ask me to call a castrated man a woman […]” and, “If people’s disability benefit was handed out from the top rung of a ladder I reckon most would climb the ladder to get it.”
On January 30, 2020, The Independent reported that Hopkins had been suspended from Twitter. It was reported the action came following a meeting organized by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). The meeting involved an anti-racism campaigner, Rachel Riley, who met with Twitter representatives and called on them to review and remove Hopkins’ account. The suspension lasted a week. On June 19, 2020, the BBC reported that Hopkins had been permanently suspended from Twitter for violating the platform’s hateful conduct policy.
Updated June 23, 2020