Are We Witnessing the Fall of Far-Right Figurehead 'Tommy Robinson'? - 2020-08-12

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F0.png Are We Witnessing the Fall of Far-Right Figurehead 'Tommy Robinson'? August 12, 2020, James Poulter, Vice News

In the autumn of 2009, a little-known figure named Stephen Yaxley-Lennon made his first appearance on Newsnight, using the pseudonym Tommy Robinson.

Yaxley-Lennon appeared on the BBC's flagship news programme as the founder and leader of the English Defence League (EDL). In a clip, he wore a balaclava and burned a Nazi flag in a disused warehouse in his home town of Luton, in the hope this would reassure viewers that the EDL was not a far-right group – an impression they may have had because of the aggressive anti-Muslim protests it organised.

Yaxley-Lennon, a former British National Party (BNP) member, would go on to dominate the British far-right for the following decade. He's been wined and dined at the House of Lords, invited to address the US Congress, frequently appeared on British TV, been invited to Russia to give a speech after being backed by the country's foreign ministry and made a small fortune through soliciting donations and book sales. First as the leader of the EDL, then as a vlogger, he was capable of pulling thousands of his supporters onto the streets for often violent protests.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = James | last = Poulter | title = Are We Witnessing the Fall of Far-Right Figurehead 'Tommy Robinson'? | url = https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxqbdz/tommy-robinson-edl-decline-popularity | work = Vice News | date = August 12, 2020 | accessdate = August 12, 2020 }}