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Neil Hughes is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders. He appeared as a major antagonist in 2021 and 2022.

He is portrayed by Thomas Coombes.


Neil Hughes first came to Albert Square in Walford on December 2021 when he arrives to visitshis childhood friend Aaron Monroe; it is soon revealed that the pair are involved in a far-right terrorist group of of white supremacists, and that Neil is secrectly the group's leader who often involve Aaron in their plans to preserve their islamopbobia by whatever means neccesary.

After Christmas that year, Neil tells Aaron of his plan to bomb the Argee Bhajee; Aaron is reluctant to go through with this since his siter Dana will be attending the mosque with her boyfriend Bobby Beale, but ultimately decides to go through with it when Neil promises that Dana will be unharmed in the incident so long as she gets out of the area. However, the plan is foiled when Aaron and Dana's father Harvey discovers what Aaron is doing and thus learns about his involvement with Neil's group.

During this time, Neil arranges to have Keagen Baker beaten up for standing up to his group. Then in 2022 he sends his followers to attack the neighbourhood, with Bobby's half-relative Ben Mitchell being among those included in the crossfire. The attack goes well at first until the victims are able to fend off their assailants. Afterwards, Neil learns that his group are under police investigation. He confronts Aaron, suspects him of grassing to the police, and attacks him until Harvey intervenes at his son's defence. Neil is forced to leave, but not after threatening Aaron and ending their friendship.


  • The character Aaron Munroe has made a total of 11 appearences during his time on the show.
  • Neil's surname, Hughes, is the same as that of former EastEnders director; Edna Hughes.