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Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson jailed for 18 months for fraud


Also see the Huffington Post and Luton & Dunstable Express for more details.

Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson jailed for 18 months for fraud

BY IAN STEADMAN (New Statesman)

The English Defence League’s founder and former leader, Tommy Robinson, has been convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison for mortgage fraud, reports the BBC. The fraud amounted to £160,000 over six months. The 31-year-old, from Luton, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court after pleading guilty in November 2013.

Robinson – whose birth name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and who goes by a range of different aliases – left the EDL in October 2013, to collaborate with the Quilliam Foundation think-tank on the subject of “counter-extremism”. Medhi Hasan wrote for the NS at the time about Robinson’s decision:

Can a fascist renounce fascism? Of course. Can he do it overnight? I’m not so sure. On 6 October, two days before his “defection” to Quilliam, Robinson tweeted that “sharia legalises paedophilia”; on 4 October, he claimed that Islam was “fuelling” a “global war/Holocaust on Christians”. On 2 October, he tried to intimidate a critic of the EDL by turning up unannounced at what Robinson (wrongly) believed was his home.

Forgive me my cynicism. At a press conference on the day he quit the EDL, the 30-year-old sunbed shop owner from Luton did not apologise for or acknowledge his previous anti-Muslim remarks; nor did he renounce, denounce or disown the EDL. So far, he seems only to have rebranded, rather than reformed, himself. Robinson, however, is an irrelevance. So, for that matter, is the EDL. The hate-filled antics of these balaclava-clad thugs have distracted us from a much bigger issue: Islamophobia went mainstream long ago, with the shameless complicity of sections of the press.

Look at the numbers. A Cardiff University study of 974 newspaper articles published about British Muslims between 2000 and 2008 found more than a quarter of them portrayed Islam as “dangerous, backward or irrational”; references to radical Muslims outnumbered references to moderate Muslims by 17 to one.

Look at the little-noticed conclusion of Lord Justice Leveson’s November 2012 report into the “culture, practices and ethics” of the press: “The identification of Muslims . . . as the targets of press hostility . . . was supported by the evidence seen by the inquiry.”

Look, above all else, at the way in which headlines, stories and columns reflect much of what Robinson says – without being tainted by the fascist whiff of the EDL.

“There is a two-tier system, where Muslims are treated more favourably than non-Muslims,” Robinson claimed in a speech in Leicester in February 2012. Consider, however, the lurid headline on the front of the Daily Express, in February 2007: “Muslims tell us how to run our schools”. Or the Daily Star’s splash in October 2008: “BBC puts Muslims before YOU”.

Spot the difference?

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  • Sam Seed


  • Seeker

    In jail ? Actually behind bars ? Oh good !
    All that bit of drama coming to naught. It is nice indeed to see some gits at least get their comeuppance.

  • Rizwan

    Where is human rights activist Ms Geller?

  • Captain Canuck

    You smug bags of shit pat yourselves on the back while the first sharia zone goes up in the UK . What a joke , you’d stab your own in the back to maintain your imagined , progressive sense of superiority.

  • moraka

    Interesting. Anders Gravers the founder of SIAD (stop islamisation of Denmark), asks donations from his followers. He is unemployed yet seem to have more money than makes sense.

  • Ahmed

    Wonder no more. The answer is:
    drum roll

    YES! wrote quite a few articles documenting his swindling of his followers.

  • moraka

    I wonder if he started edf as a money machine.

  • LiesYouTell

    ‘Go and enjoy yourselves’: What tribal elder said before Indian gang rape victim was tied to a platform to be assaulted in view of entire village because of affair with a Muslim

  • Sam Seed

    All we know he has been lying all along, petty young criminal.

  • The greenmantle

    I wonder what his buddy Pammy has to say ? What a pity she could not have appearred as a character whitness for poor Tommy I am sure that would have helped him 😉
    Dont forget folks Tommy’s appeal against the fraudulant use of a passport to enter the USA has still to be heard maybe he will get two lots of porrage 🙂
    Another great day
    Toodle pip
    Sir David

  • mindy1

    He dishonors that uniform, and for that matter all of humanity

  • LiesYouTell

  • Yausari

    I wonder if the prison would actually set him up straight

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