Donald Trump’s ambassador lobbied Britain on behalf of jailed Tommy Robinson
Donald Trump’s ambassador for international freedom reportedly lobbied Britain on behalf of Tommy Robinson .
Sam Brownback, the US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, complained to the British ambassador in Washington about the treatment of the far-right activist.
English Defence League founder Robinson is serving 13 months behind bars for contempt of court after being jailed in May.
Who is Tommy Robinson? The jailed far right activist who has a Love Island fan
According to Reuters, Brownback raised the case in a June meeting with Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s Ambassador to the United States, in talks that covered a range of “religious freedom issues".
Brownback reportedly told Darroch that if Britain did not treat Robinson more sympathetically, the Trump administration might feel forced to publicly criticise the UK’s handling of the case.
Robinson’s supporters are understood to have been in touch with the Trump administration about the issue, expressing concernsthat he could be attacked by other prisoners.
On Thursday a US State Department spokesman said the “characterisations” of Brownback’s meeting with Darroch were “completely false”.
The British Embassy declined to comment.
Donald Trump’s UK visit
Demonstrations in support of Robinson have been organised in London on Saturday to join up with the Welcome Trump procession.
Organisers said in a leaflet that Republican U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar and Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders were scheduled to speak at its rally.
But Wilders tweeted on Thursday that he would not attend the rally because the UK Ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Williams, told Dutch authorities Britain would not provide security for him.
It follows demonstrations last Saturday in Leeds which turned violent and where a police officer was seriously injured.
A spokesman for ant-racist Hope Not Hate, said: “In the week President Trump comes to the UK, his hand-picked diplomat allying himself with a far-right convicted fraudster perhaps shouldn’t be too much of a shock.”
Robinson’s real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, but he has been known to use several aliases over the years, including Andrew McMaster and Paul Harris.
Why was he jailed in May 2018?
Robinson was thrown behind bars for contempt of court for 13 months on May 25, 2018, but no-one was allowed to know why at first.
A judge had already sentenced him to three months imprisonment suspended for 18 months last May, after he was found in contempt of court over a case in Canterbury.
He was warned that committing further offences would result in imprisonment.
But in May this year Robinson live-streamed a Facebook video from outside Leeds Crown Court that was watched 250,000 times.
The video included comments that could have caused the collapse of a long-running trial, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The media – including anyone using Facebook Live – were banned from reporting details of the trial until it finished.
As well as breaching this order, Robinson also made comments that impacted on the defendants’ right to a fair hearing before a jury.
His sentence sparked a mass protest outside Downing Street as supporters called for his release, with the slogan #FreeTommy.
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