POLITICS
25/04/2019 16:40 BST | Updated 26/04/2019 11:55 BST

Tommy Robinson To Stand For MEP In Euro-Elections

Far-right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who is an advisor for Ukip but barred from being a member of the party, will campaign as an independent.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - also known as Tommy Robinson - has announced he will stand to be an MEP in the forthcoming European elections.

The far-right activist will campaign as an independent in the North West region, he announced on his website on Thursday. 

Yaxley-Lennon is an advisor for Ukip but, as co-founder of the far-right organisation the English Defence League, is barred from being a member of the party. 

The 36-year-old has paid the £5,000 deposit and has submitted all the required documentation to be a candidate in the European Parliament elections on 23 May.

Yaxley-Lennon, who is banned from mainstream social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, is subject to ongoing legal proceedings that could see him jailed for alleged contempt of court.

He was freed in August over procedural failings and is awaiting a new hearing.

His statement over the Euro-elections reads: “They’re laughing at us. All of them — Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, the European Union bureaucrats. 17.4 million of us voted for Brexit, but they don’t care about people like us.” 

 

PA Wire/PA Images
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

 

He added that he “admired” what Nigel Farage had achieved but said that the Brexit Party leader is “just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes”. 

Nick Lowles, chief executive of the Hope Not Hate campaign group, said: “Stephen Lennon is a far-right thug who uses his platform to bully, abuse and stir up division, monetising his hatred to rake in donations from his fans. He has a long record of abuse towards minorities such as Muslims and wherever he goes trouble has followed.

“Standing in this election is just another way for Lennon to line his pockets, at the expense of democracy and voters.”

Laura Parker, Momentum’s national co-ordinator, said: “Let’s look at Tommy Robinson’s record. He called British Muslims enemy combatants, accusing them of raping their way through Britain and branding the refugee crisis ‘an invasion by military age Muslim men’.

“He threatened critical journalists outside their own homes. He sent messages to the far right terrorist Darren Osbourne just weeks before he drove a van into worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque.

“This man is a far right, racist thug. It would be a travesty if he were to represent us in Europe, and Momentum will continue to campaign against his vile, hate filled politics.”

Yaxley-Lennon was due to speak at an event in Manchester’s Wythenshaw on Thursday night to talk about his plans.

Labour MP Mike Kane and other community activists have spoken out, saying “violence and racism have no place in our political discourse”. 

Kane, shadow schools minister and MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, said he is not welcome to spread his “vitriol” in Manchester or in any other community.

He said he wanted to highlight the visit in his constituency by Yaxley-Lennon to call for unity.

Kane said: “I want to make it clear, and I’m sure the whole House would agree, this individual is not welcome to spread his xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist vitriol in my community or in any other community.

“He seeks to divide rather than to unite people. We do things differently in Manchester, we stand together against hate.”

MPs from both sides of the House murmured in agreement when Kane finished his remarks at the despatch box.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said he shared the sentiments expressed by his opposite number, adding: “I’m sure it’s a sentiment shared right across this House.”