Far Right Extremist Tommy Robinson Becomes Political Advisor On Eve Of Aussie Tour
The founder of the English Defence League has raised the ire of Nigel Farage by becoming an official consultant to the UK Independence Party.
Set for a controversial visit to Australia next month, far right leader Tommy Robinson was announced as adviser to UKIP leader Gerard Batten on Friday.
The party's former figurehead Nigel Farage immediately called for Batten's removal and told BBC Radio 4 he was "appalled" at the decision.
“Gerard Batten has got this, sort of, fixation with Tommy Robinson and discussing Islam, and dragging UKIP into a direction of effectively being a, sort of, street activist party," he stated on the program.
Robinson -- born Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon and previously known under two other names -- will advise Batten on grooming gangs and prisons, and propelling the anti-Islam activist further into the mainstream.
The term 'grooming gang' refers to multiple offenders sexually exploiting women they have met, manipulated, and abused outside their homes.
Robinson was jailed for two months earlier this year for contempt of court at the trial of a number of individuals accused of grooming and raping women.
The "citizen journalist" stood outside the court for over an hour as he shared incendiary opinions about the trial, Muslims and Islam via Facebook Live.
His supporters view him as a "martyr for the cause" due to his imprisonment, Dr Joshua Roose, the Director of the Australian Catholic University's Institute for Religion, Politics and Society, told 10 daily.
"He has sought to cultivate this image, however he may be considered nothing more than a charlatan and small time thug," Roose added.
Robinson was involved in the British National Party -- known to harbor activists from the extreme far right political party National Front -- before he formed the English Defence League.
While Robinson left the EDL in 2013 due to concerns over "the dangers of far-right extremism" he remains a key figure in the political movement.
Critics of Farage's relentless campaigning for the Brexit vote said he had contributed to a growing climate of hate and xenophobia in the UK.
Farage contended Robinson's UKIP appointment "goes against all the things I did as leader to say we will talk about immigration, we will talk about the extreme forms of Islam, but we will do it as a non-racist, non-sectarian party."
Robinson's working class roots are at odds with Farage's private schooling and high-flying stockbroker past, according to Roose.
He has been arrested and jailed several times for a fight at a soccer match, a protest on the roof of FIFA headquarters in Zurich, assault at an EDL rally, as well as attempting to enter the United States on someone else's passport.
Robinson and fellow far right figure Gavin McInnes are due in Australia for 'The Deplorables Tour' from early December.
Robinson (pictured right) and fellow far right figure Gavin McInnes (left) are due in Australia for The Deplorables Tour from early December.
Dr Roose told 10 daily the tour will likely "tread a fine line between legality and incitement to violence."
"[The tour] will be a call to arms for attendees in an attempt to build political momentum for their cause," he added.
"Both revel in playing the victim card and making openly sexist and racist comments they seek to state as ‘facts’."
The duo are the subject of a petition crafted by Sudanese-Australian lawyer and advocate Nyadol Nyuon in hopes of stopping their entry into the country, which has over 67,000 signatures at this time.
Featured image: Getty.
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