Tommy Robinson (activist)

Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (born 27 November 1982), better known as Tommy Robinson, is a British far-right, anti-Islam activist,[1][2] and convicted criminal.[3] He is the co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League,[4] and later served as a political advisor to former UKIP leader Gerard Batten.[5]

Tommy Robinson
Robinson at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London in March 2018
Stephen Christopher Yaxley

(1982-11-27) 27 November 1982 (age 38)
Other names
  • Andrew McMaster
  • Paul Harris
  • Wayne King
Known forCo-founder and former leader of the English Defence League, Islamophobia, criminal convictions
Political partyBritish Freedom Party (2012)
BNP (2004–2005)

Robinson has been active in far-right politics for many years. He was a member of the neo-fascist and white nationalist British National Party (BNP) from 2004 to 2005.[6] For a short time in 2012, he was joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party (BFP). Robinson led the EDL from 2009 until 8 October 2013. He continued as an activist, and in 2015 became involved with the development of Pegida UK, a now defunct British chapter of the German-based far-right organisation Pegida.[7] From 2017 to 2018, Robinson wrote for and appeared in online videos for Rebel News, a Canadian far-right[13] political website.

Robinson has a long-standing criminal record. His convictions include for violence, financial and immigration frauds, drug possession and public order offences. He has been committed to prison for contempt of court.[14][15][3] He has served at least four separate terms of imprisonment: in 2005 for assault, in 2012 for using false travel documents to enter the United States, in 2014 for mortgage fraud,[16][17][18] and, in May 2018, Robinson was committed to prison for 13 months for contempt of court after publishing a Facebook Live video of defendants entering a law court, contravening a court order that disallows reporting on such trials while proceedings are ongoing. On 1 August 2018, due to procedural errors, he was released on bail pending a new hearing of the case.[19] On 5 July 2019, Robinson was again found guilty of contempt of court at the retrial and was committed at the Old Bailey to nine months in prison on 11 July․[20][21] Before his sentencing, Robinson appeared on InfoWars and appealed for political asylum in the United States.[22] He was released from prison on 13 September 2019 after serving 9 weeks.[23]

On 22 July 2021, Robinson was found to have libelled a 15-year-old refugee at a school in Huddersfield and was ordered to pay £100,000 plus legal costs, although Robinson had filed for bankruptcy in March 2021.