Britain First leader implies Sam Smith is a paedophile because they wore Teletubby boots

On the left, Britain First leader Paul Golding. On the right, Sam Smith in a new TikTok.

Paul Golding, the leader of far-right political group Britain First, has insinuated that Sam Smith is a sexual predator – because they wore Teletubbies boots in a TikTok video.

The 31-year-old “Unholy” singer, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, has spent much of 2023 embracing their queerness and gender identity.

That’s included pushing the boundaries when it comes to their fashion, such as showing flesh during photoshoots, donning dresses in NSFW music videos, and rocking up at their Gloria tour in devil attire.

Smith’s bold fashion choices aren’t exactly unusual when considered next to the likes of Madonna or Lady Gaga, but bigots have been left consistently slack-mouthed at seeing Smith wearing a corset and some nipple tassels.

For their latest fashion statement, Smith shared a (since deleted) video on TikTok in which they wore a pair of lime green, knee-high heeled boots, each one with a soft toy version of Teletubbies character Dipsy sewn at the top of the shaft.

Sam Smith wears a striped top, denim shorts and Teletubbies boots in new TikTok.
This Sam Smith look has led to a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ slurs on social media. (TikTok)

They were also decked out in denim shorts and a blue and white striped top, which featured an illustration of a boy eating an apple. In the short clip, Smith strutted towards the camera, as the Teletubbies theme song played.

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It’s a fairly innocuous clip by modern day pop star standards, but has predictably sent the far-right into a rage-fuelled meltdown.

Sharing the clip on X (formerly Twitter), Golding declared that “Sam Smith needs his hard drive checked ASAP”.

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The phrase “check their hard drive” is often used to imply that someone is a paedophile, and that their computer likely has child sexual abuse materials on it.

Golding’s statement has led to a flurry of social media users suggesting that Smith is a “deviant” and implying that they, along with other queer people, should be imprisoned or attacked. Others have joined Golding in proclaiming that wearing Teletubbies boots equates to being a “groomer“.

Golding is the leader of Britain First, a UK-based extremist far-right political group. Britain First campaigns against religious and racial diversity in the UK – consistently sharing anti-multiculturalism dog whistles on social media – and is fundamentally opposed to Islam, previously referring to the religion as “barbaric”.

The group is also opposed to the LGBTQ+ community, frequently suggesting that children are being “indoctrinated” by schools that promote LGBTQ+ inclusion, and insinuating that drag performers are part of “LGBT propaganda” that is “grooming” children.

While Golding has implied that Smith has engaged in illegal activity for sharing a TikTok video, Golding himself has in fact been on the wrong side of the law. 

Jayda Fransen (left) and Paul Golding (right) outside court in 2018.
Jayda Fransen (left) and Paul Golding (right) outside court in 2018. The pair were convicted of religiously aggravated harassment. (Getty/Ben Stansall)

In 2018, Golding and the party’s former deputy leader Jayda Fransen were convicted of religiously aggravated harassment after targeting the homes of people in Kent whom they believed were the subject of a rape trial that involved three Muslim men.

They posted offensive leaflets through the letterboxes of those who were on trial, and branded innocent members of the public “paedophiles” and “rapists”.

Golding was convicted of one count of religiously aggravated harassment and sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, with the judge declaring that the pair’s actions “demonstrated hostility” towards Muslims.

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Until this year, Britain First was banned on X, and remains banned on Facebook

Other notable right-wing mouthpieces have also shared their views on the 15 second clip. After GB News commentator Darren Grimes shared the video and questioned whether Smith was displaying “normal” behaviour, his fellow GB news commentator Calvin Robinson responded: “Normal for a MAP.”

“MAP” is an acronym for the phrase “minor attracted person”, AKA paedophile. 

The use of anti-LGBTQ+ slurs such as “groomer” has shot up on social media in recent years thanks to a rising tide of wider homophobic and transphobic hatred.

However, lawyers have warned social media users that use of such defamatory terms could lead to a lawsuit.

Lee Fisher, a partner specialising in defamation at Blake Morgan LLP, told PinkNews earlier this year that “comments such as groomer and paedophile, which aren’t based on any objectively true facts, are certainly something that people can sue upon”.

“The basic law is that if something is defamatory – whether it’s down the local pub, on Twitter, or in any other sort of written or spoken form – meaning it’s capable of lowering that individual in the eyes of others, you could be sued.”

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