Tommy Robinson: I’m the victim of a political witch-hunt
English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson claimed he was the victim of a “political witch-hunt” as his contempt of court case was sent to the Attorney General.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was cheered by crowds of supporters outside the Old Bailey as he emerged on bail on Tuesday.
To shouts of “Oh Tommy Robinson”, the 35-year-old protested his innocence, saying: “This political witch-hunt must end now.”
He also read a statement he had provided on Monday which persuaded the judge to refer the case to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC rather than decide it himself.
During the hearing Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said the letter had made clearer the “nature and extent of the controversies” as he explained his decision.
Afterwards, Robinson told his fans: “I believe that with this support that’s been shown the Attorney General will kick this into the long grass.”
Robinson was freed from prison in August after three leading judges quashed a contempt of court finding made at Leeds Crown Court.
But he could be sent back to jail if he is again found in contempt for filming people in a Huddersfield grooming trial in Leeds and broadcasting the footage on social media.
The court heard he denied breaching the Contempt of Court Act and making a broadcast likely to seriously prejudice the trial.
Judge Hilliard said: “It is sufficient to say that the nature and extent of the controversies to be considered emerged to my eye more clearly than before.”
Had the case been heard by Judge Hilliard, witnesses, including Robinson, could not have been cross examined.
The judge said: “I think it necessary to look at quite a lot of the detail of what Mr Yaxley-Lennon said in the broadcast as to come to the overall picture as to what happened.
“I’m satisfied in the light of the issues as they now appear as they emerged from the statement of yesterday, that cross-examination of Mr Yaxley-Lennon is necessary for a proper and thorough examination and resolution of the case that is in the public interest.”
As he arrived at court, Robinson walked through the crowds chanting, waving Union and England flags and sounding klaxons.
“No matter what happens today, I’ve already won,” he said.
“Their attempts to silence and stop people having the knowledge of the Muslim rape gangs that are terrorising our nation.
“The entire world is now watching.”
He blamed the Government, police and social services for “sacrificing a generation of our daughters at the hands of the multiculturalism alter”.
The media is “the enemy of the people”, he yelled, eliciting the crowd to respond: “Shame on you.”
Metropolitan Police and their colleagues from the City of London manned barricades outside court for the rally.
Under the watchful gaze of officers, the largely male crowd chanted “oh Tommy Robinson”, while some got in an early can of Stella Artois before the hearing.
A supporter in a Union flag suit said: “I have come here to support Tommy because there’s so many injustices going on in the world today.
“I’ve learned so many things in the last two years, such as the killings of anyone that’s not of the Islamic faith.”
A passing cyclist said: “Fascist.”
A small group of anti-fascism campaigners faced Robinson fans before the hearing.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office confirmed: “This matter has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office.
“A law officer will consider all material afresh, and make a decision whether or not to refer Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to the High Court for contempt.”