The Ukip leader, Gerard Batten, has appointed the anti-islam activist Tommy Robinson as an official adviser, further cementing the party’s move towards the far right
The Ukip leader, Gerard Batten, has appointed the anti-islam activist Tommy Robinson as an official adviser, further cementing the party’s move towards the far right.
Batten said the founder of the far-right activist group the English Defence League, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, would advise him on grooming gangs and prisons.
The Ukip leader said Robinson, who faces a possible retrial after successfully appealing against a jail term for contempt of court for live-streaming videos to Facebook from outside a grooming gang case, had “great knowledge” about the subjects.
Mr Batten said: “I have appointed Tommy Robinson to be a personal special adviser on two subjects which he has great knowledge.
“It is not necessary for him to be a party member in order to assist me in this role I am looking forward to working with him.”
Robinson, a former member of the British National Party (BNP), has had a series of run-ins with the law and has been convicted and jailed in the past.
Years before he founded the EDL in 2009, Robinson was convicted of an assault, reportedly on an off-duty police officer.
Robinson was also imprisoned in 2013 for using a passport in the name of Andrew McMaster to travel to the US.
Other convictions include drugs and public order offences and he was jailed in 2014 for 18 months for mortgage fraud.
After the passport conviction, he said that going to prison was the best thing that ever happened to him .
Robinson was recently jailed for 13 months for contempt of court in relation to his activities filming people involved in a grooming case.
The sentence was later quashed and the case has been referred to the Attorney General.
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