Tommy Robinson, the British far-right activist, found himself in the midst of controversy yet again as he was arrested by dozens of police officers during the March Against Antisemitism in London. The arrest took place as Robinson was having breakfast ahead of the significant demonstration, where he had intended to record a video and interview participants.
Who is Tommy Robinson?
Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, widely known as Tommy Robinson, is a prominent figure in the British far-right and anti-Islam activism. Notorious for his involvement in various far-right movements, Robinson served as a political advisor to former UKIP leader Gerard Batten. His affiliations include membership in the neo-fascist British National Party and later co-founding the English Defence League in 2009, a group he led until 2013.
Robinson has faced multiple convictions, ranging from violence and stalking to financial and immigration frauds. His criminal record also includes imprisonment for contempt of court, notably for livestreaming defendants entering a law court, violating reporting restrictions. Despite his legal troubles, Robinson remained active in far-right politics and engaged with platforms such as Rebel News.
In 2018, Robinson’s prison sentence for contempt of court was temporarily overturned due to procedural errors, and he was subsequently released on bail. His legal woes continued, with a retrial in 2019 leading to another conviction for contempt of court, resulting in a nine-month prison term. Robinson’s controversial actions extended to matters beyond the legal realm, including a libel case in 2021, where he was ordered to pay £100,000 for defaming a 15-year-old refugee.
Despite facing legal challenges and criticism for his views and activities, Robinson has maintained a presence in the far-right political landscape in the UK. His recent arrest at the March Against Antisemitism adds another chapter to his tumultuous and polarizing public persona.