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ANTI-RACISM campaigners gathered outside the Old Bailey today, where judges gave the green light for fresh contempt of court proceedings to be brought against far-right hate preacher “Tommy Robinson.”
The former English National Defence (EDL) leader, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, faces an allegation that he committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.
Two High Court judges gave permission for a new case to be brought against him following an application by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC.
Mr Yaxley-Lennon was jailed for 13 months in May 2018 after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial at Leeds Crown Court and broadcast the footage on social media in May 2017.
But a contempt finding made against him was quashed by the Court of Appeal in August and he was freed from prison after serving two months of his sentence.
The case was then referred back to Mr Cox, who announced in March that it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against Mr Yaxley-Lennon.
He could be sent back to jail if he is again found in contempt, which carries a maximum sentence of two years.
Although slightly outnumbered, counter-protesters from Stand Up to Racism stood their ground against Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s supporters.
Mr Yaxley-Lennon addressed the crowd before he made his way into court wearing a “Vote Tommy” T-shirt and claimed that the case against him was “politically motivated.”
He is standing for election as a MEP for the North West region in the European Parliament elections this month.
The self-identified reporter first tried to cosy up to journalists at the scene by saying he was on trial “for doing what you are doing now” in an attempt to promote sympathy, then bashed them for their “fake news.”
Before the hearing, Stand Up to Racism national organiser Julie Sherry said campaigners felt it was “absolutely crucial” to protest outside the court to “expose what a dangerous fascist he is.”
Mr Yaxley-Lennon is “exploiting the current political crisis” over Brexit and the “widespread disillusionment” with mainstream politics, Ms Sherry said.
“He does not speak for working-class people,” she added.
“We have an urgent responsibility as people who oppose racist division, and seek to learn the lessons of the horrors of the Holocaust, to make sure such a figure as Robinson is not allowed to masquerade as a legitimate politician without being challenged.
“He represents a fascist force that must be stopped before it has a chance to grow.”
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