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