Tommy Robinson has claimed that police have made repeated attempts over the last two years to "blackmail" him into becoming a double-agent, to feed them information on Britain First leader Paul Golding.
Robinson was part way through an 18 months sentence for a £160,000 mortgage fraud, when he claims he was approached for the first time by an officer keen to exploit his recent change of thinking.
Three months before he was sentenced, in October 2013, Robinson had, unexpectedly announced he was quitting the English Defence League at a highly publicised press conference, which he fronted alongside Quilliam director Maajid Nawaz, and his cousin, fellow defence league member, Kevin Carroll. On Friday Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, detailed the £8,000-deal he made with the group, in exchange for them taking "credit" for him leaving the far-right group.
Tommy Robinson claims that police tried to pressure him into spying on Britain First leader Paul Golding
At the Quilliam press conference Robinson said: "I have been considering this move for a long time because I recognise that, though street demonstrations have brought us to this point, they are no longer productive."
"I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas.”
Two months later Robinson was in jail, and at a "crossroads in my life", having made it clear to authorities that upon release he was going to "never talk about Islam again". The 32-year-old now says he regrets being so forthcoming, saying police used the information against him to make "every attempt to fuck me".
He said: “They tried to sell it as I’d be doing my country a service because If I’m true to what I said when I left the EDL, about trying to tackle the far-right, then there’s no better way than doing this. Golding (at that time) was invading mosques. He was doing heaps of shit that was worrying them.”
Robinson said police specifically wanted to know about Golding’s links in Northern Ireland and who the “money men” behind the political party were.
“So I was like, 'so you want me to do to him, what you’ve done to me? This is fucken mad innit. You’ve got a fucken cheek to come in here'.”
The Huffington Post UK approached police for comment on Robinson's accusations but they said under no circumstances would they discuss how they gather intelligence.
The cover of Robinson's soon to be released book, Enemy of the State, he writes that police tried to “blackmail” him into spying on his friends and former colleagues.
Britain First deputy leader Paul Golding, with his deputy Jayda Fransen at the party's annual conference
After being release from prison in July 2014, Robinson claims he was driving near Doncaster on the M1, when he was pulled over by police and arrested for burgling an “empty house, where nothing was taken” in Humberside. After being drug tested, and agreeing to an ID parade - that never eventuated - Robinson said he was bailed.
When he got home to Luton, Robinson's wife told him that Winchester Prison had been on the phone about some clothes he had left behind.
When Robinson rang the number they left, he claimed an officer from the “secretive unit” within Scotland Yard who had visited him in prison answered.
Again, Robinson claims, he was urged to “come in for a chat” and told that he could be helped out of the “predicament” he was in. Still on licence, Robinson could have been recalled to prison at any time.
“I wouldn’t say I was worried. I was gutted. I was gutted bruva. I was emotional. I was crying my eyes out. It’s the first time. I just through, what the fuck am I supposed to do. I’ve gone to prison. I’ve given you cunts what you want. I’ve put my hands up. I’ve left the EDL. And hear you are still fucking, fucking, trying to ruin me.”
The burglary charge was later dropped, but then Robinson claims his mortgage fraud case was re-activated, with police wanting to pursue him for £315,000.
Robinson address is a 40,000-strong crowd at a Pegida rally in Germany - he is now advising Pegida UK
At the point, Robinson claims, police contacted him again asking for help. He declined.
The proceeds matter returned to court a short time later, and a judge ordered Robinson to pay £125,000, giving him six months to do so.
Again, he claims police tried to make a deal, offering to make it easier for him to pay the debt. His reply, “I’m not going to be your bitch or snitch for the rest of my life”. Instead he sold his first family home to service the debt.
The following day Robinson said he was recalled to prison, in an action he claims was motivated to stop him speaking at the Oxford Union. The recall, he was told, was because of a tweet he had sent weeks earlier, which was in breach of his release conditions.
The tweet, Robinson said, was a reply to someone who had a Nazi handle who had threatened to “rape my mum”, and saying he was looking for her address. Robinson responded by asking the tweeter to meet him outside his probation office the following day.
After serving 28 days, Robinson again arranged to speak at the Oxford Union, but was advised by his probation officer that he could not talk about Islam, police, or terrorism. The speech went ahead.
Eight days before Robinson's licence was to end, he was recalled to prison again, for reasons Robinson is unsure of. While sitting in police cells in Luton, an intelligence officer approached him for what was now the last time.
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Robinson recalls: "So they send in this fat intelligence officer, about a thirty stone mess. Fat dude with glasses, who says he's spent like 30 years in intelligence, dealing with radicalisation, terrorism... and he says, 'you can help us, we can help you'.
The reply: "I said, 'what the fuck can you do for me bruv? You've just taken £125 grand (mortgage fraud proceeds) off me ya prick. What can you do for me'?
Robinson continues: "He said, 'I can make things easier', and I said, 'I've got eight days left you fat prick, shut the door and fuck off.'"
Robinson was then, on July 14 this year, transferred to HMP Petersborough, where he later accused authorities of endangering his life by putting him on a "wing full of Muslims".