You can read 19 more articles this month
MEMBERS of Parliament have written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to demand that the country maintains a travel ban against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson.
In the letter seen by the Star today, 55 MPs write in favour of the ban that was put in place after Mr Yaxley-Lennon tried to “fraudulently and criminally enter the United States” in 2012 by using his friend’s passport.
Mr Yaxley-Lennon, the former English Defence League leader, plans to travel to Washington DC next week for media appearances, for which he is expected to bag around £1 million.
The MPs’ letter warns that the money will be used to “organise further disruptive demonstrations in communities across the UK. Such demonstrations have resulted in outbreaks of violence in the past.”
This week PayPal froze Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s account – which he said has “a lot” of money – and banned him from using it again after thousands of people signed petitions against the firm processing his online donations.
The company said in a statement released today: “We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance that [are] discriminatory.”
In 2012, Mr Yaxley-Lennon had tried to enter the US after his application for a visitor’s visa had already been rejected over his “multiple criminal convictions, including several for violent conduct and assault, as well as mortgage fraud,” the MPs’ letter says.
After gaining entry to the US and despite being required to undergo a second border inspection at New York’s John F Kennedy airport, he “absconded from the secured inspection area … and entered the United States illegally,” they wrote.
He served a 10-month prison sentence for this when he returned to Britain.
“We hope you agree that it would send a terrible signal if a convicted felon deemed inadmissible to the United States such as Yaxley-Lennon were allowed to travel to your country and speak before a prominent audience despite his conviction for previously entering the United States illegally,” the MPs said.
Activist group Hope Not Hate’s head of campaigns Matthew McGregor called on Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Sajid Javid to intervene.
He said: “They should tell the Trump administration very firmly: apply your laws, and don’t allow this thug in.”
The group’s senior researcher Joe Mulhall said: “It would make a mockery of the US laws for the administration to allow him into the country … His fundraising visit is not in [Britain’s] public interest.”
Mr Yaxley-Lennon was freed from prison in August after judges quashed a contempt of court finding made at Leeds Crown Court.
Last month he was released from bail after Old Bailey judge Nicholas Hilliard QC referred his case to the Attorney General.
The intervention comes a week before the National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism and Racism in London next Saturday.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.