In a poll of 10,383 people, HOPE not hate gave people four common statements that some people will believe as conspiracy theories. These ranged from asking about climate change, conscious left- wing news distortion, Jewish control of the banking system and ‘no-go’ areas for non-Muslims in Muslim neighbourhoods.

One in eight people thought that humans are not the primary source for the warming of the planet, though two thirds thought they were.A third of respondents believed that the BBC deliberately distorts the news to fit its left-wing agenda, with only a fraction more believing this to be a false statement.

Thirteen per cent of people thought that Jewish people have an unhealthy control over the world’s banking system. While almost half of people disagreed, a worrying 41% said that they did not know.

More people (32%) believed the statement that ‘there are no go areas in Britain where sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter’ than disbelieved it (31%). Over a third (37%) did not know. 

Conservative voters are much more likely to believe in these statements, with the exception of whether Jewish bankers have an unhealthy control of the world’s banking system where they and Labour are virtually level pegging. A quarter of Conservative voters do not believe that humans are the primary cause of global warming (compared to 9% of Labour voters); half of Conservative voters believe the BBC deliberately distort the news and 47% believe that there are there are no go areas in Britain where sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter.

a picture of the British and EU flag meshed together in the middle

People who voted Leave in the EU referendum and UKIP in the 2015 General Election are much more likely to believe in these statements than anyone else. Once don’t knows are excluded, 78.9% of UKIP’s 2015 vote think the BBC deliberately distort the news and 72.6% believe in the no-go zones statement.

Men are more likely to believe in these statements than women, with, for example, 17% agreeing that Jewish people have an unhealthy control of the world’s banking compared to just 9% of women. Age and educational levels are also factors. The older one is and the less educational qualifications one has, the more likely one is to believe these statements. 

Support for the belief that Jewish people control world banking is worryingly high amongst British Muslims. Almost half of British-Bangladeshis (48%) and British-Pakistanis (41%) agree, though the sample size for both groups was small.

Download a PDF of the report here