Journalists targeted by Tommy Robinson supporters outside Old Bailey
Journalists reporting on the latest contempt of court proceedings against Tommy Robinson have been targeted outside the Old Bailey.
Supporters of the former English Defence League leader, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, singled out journalists – particularly those believed to be working for the BBC – outside court on Tuesday.
Journalists were asked which organisation they worked for and whether they produced “fake news”, while one individual tried to drag a Press Association video journalist to the ground by their bag.
Members of the crowd also pushed camera operators trying to film Robinson as he left court.
Hundreds of Robinson’s supporters gathered outside the court in the hours before the case was due to be heard and their numbers grew in the build-up.
A counter-demonstration of around 100 people, organised by the Stand Up To Racism group, also arrived ahead of the hearing.
The two groups traded chants from a distance of around 50 metres, with shouts of “say it loud, say it clear – refugees are welcome here” being drowned out by those singing Robinson’s name.
He made a brief speech to his supporters as he arrived at court, telling the crowd the case against him was “politically motivated”.
As the hearing progressed, hundreds of supporters waited outside periodically chanting “we want Tommy out”.
After the court’s decision to give the go-ahead for fresh contempt of court proceedings against Robinson was announced, the crowd booed and chanted “shame on you”.
Speaking after the ruling, Robinson berated “the fake news media” he claimed had misreported proceedings and accused journalists of “hounding” him as he arrived at court.
As Robinson was speaking, a cameraman was identified by members of the crowd as working for the BBC and had to be ushered away by a colleague.