(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 01, 2017 Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, AKA Tommy Robinson, former leader of the right-wing EDL (English Defence League) is escorted away by police from a Britain First march and an English Defence League march in central London on April 4, 2017 following the deadly terror attack against the British Parliament on March 22.
British alt-right activist Tommy Robinson was freed from prison on August1, 2018 after winning a legal challenge in a case that has stirred his supporters worldwide. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, is escorted away by police from a Britain First march and an English Defence League march in central London in April 2017. AFP

Anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson freed from prison on bail

Tommy Robinson, the founder of the anti-Islam English Defence League movement, has been freed on bail by the UK’s Court of Appeal after being imprisoned in May for interfering in a criminal court case.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was jailed for 13 months for using social media to broadcast details of a trial in Leeds, north-east England, related to child molestation that was subject to blanket reporting restrictions.

The 35-year-old has received strong support from supporters of far-right causes including Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon, who last month said that he did not think the former EDL leader was “a bad guy”.

A judge at a London court ruled on Wednesday that the process that convicted Robinson was “fundamentally flawed” as the proceedings were completed too quickly, and that he should be released from jail pending a rehearing.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said: "We are satisfied that the finding of contempt made in Leeds following a fundamentally flawed process, in what we recognise were difficult and unusual circumstances, cannot stand.

"We will direct that the matter be reheard before a different judge."

Robinson’s lawyer Jeremy Dein argued during the appeal proceedings that the contempt of court conviction should be quashed because a "conglomeration of procedural deficiencies" had prejudiced the case.

Judges on Wednesday dismissed an appeal against a suspended sentence handed down to Robinson after he attempted to film defendants outside a court in Canterbury, southern England, earlier in May.

Supporters of the activist had gathered outside of the London courthouse wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Free Tommy Robinson”. Police kept his supporters apart from Stand Up to Racism campaigners who had staged a counter-demonstration against his release.

Robinson, who was not present at the hearing, later left HMP Onley in central England flanked by two supporters.


Read more:

Far-right exploits upheaval as attacks on Muslims rise

Facebook failed to act on anti-Muslim abuse


In the morning around 20 supporters, outnumbered two to one by police officers, chanted his name outside court.

"I'm very very happy, he's going home to his family," said supporter Dean Henry, 53.

Around 20 or so counter-protesters were also present, chanting "Nazi scum, off our streets".

"We want to stop Tommy Robinson, I'd like to see him in prison for life for what he is and what he does,.. there is no free speech for fascists," said anti-racist campaigner Mary.

"The danger is that the fascists, who are the hardcore of all this, will spread their venom to the right wing who don't like migrants."


Director: Jay Roach

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie 

Four out of five stars 

Profile of VoucherSkout

Date of launch: November 2016

Founder: David Tobias

Based: Jumeirah Lake Towers

Sector: Technology

Size: 18 employees

Stage: Embarking on a Series A round to raise $5 million in the first quarter of 2019 with a 20 per cent stake

Investors: Seed round was self-funded with “millions of dollars” 

If you go

The flights

Fly direct to London from the UAE with Etihad, Emirates, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic from about Dh2,500 return including taxes. 

The hotel

Rooms at the convenient and art-conscious Andaz London Liverpool Street cost from £167 (Dh800) per night including taxes.

The tour

The Shoreditch Street Art Tour costs from £15 (Dh73) per person for approximately three hours. 


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Most Read
Top Videos

View from London

Your weekly update from the UK and Europe

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      View from London