MPs voice ‘grave con­cern’ over prospect of Tommy Robinson’s US travel ban be­ing lifted

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

MORE THAN 50 MPs have writ­ten to US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo urg­ing him not to per­mit Tommy Robinson to en­ter Amer­ica for a fundrais­ing tour.

The cross-party group voiced “grave con­cern” at re­ports that the US au­thor­i­ties might grant Mr Robinson – real name Stephen Yax­ley-Len­non – a waiver on his cur­rent ban on en­ter­ing the coun­try.

They warned that the English De­fence League founder would use any visit to “pro­mote his vi­o­lent and ex­trem­ist agenda” and was ex­pected to raise around $1.4m (£1.1 mil­lion) through speak­ing ap­pear­ances. Robinson has gained a high pro­file in the US af­ter rightwing web­sites took up his cause when he was jailed for 13 months for con­tempt of court in Leeds.

The sen­tence was later quashed and the case has been re­ferred to the At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

Labour MPs make up the bulk of the let­ter’s 55 sig­na­to­ries, in­clud­ing front­benchers Va­lerie Vaz and Glo­ria de Piero as well as for­mer Home Of­fice min­is­ters Ver­non Coaker and Ge­orge Howarth. But they were joined by MPs from other par­ties, in­clud­ing Con­ser­va­tive Michael Fabri­cant, Lib­eral Demo­crat front­benchers Tom Brake and Wera Hob­house, and the SNP’s Mar­tyn Day.

They warned Mr Pom­peo that any event in the US in­volv­ing Mr Robinson might fea­ture demon­stra­tions or­gan­ised by him of a kind which have pre­vi­ously re­sulted in “out­breaks of vi­o­lence” in the UK.

Mr Robinson is cur­rently barred from the US af­ter at­tempt­ing to en­ter the coun­try us­ing a friend’s pass­port in 2012, hav­ing been blocked from trav­el­ling un­der stan­dard ar­range­ments be­cause of “mul­ti­ple crim­i­nal con­vic­tions.

Ex­pect­ing to raise more than £1m through speak­ing ap­pear­ances in US.

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