Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage (pictured at the European Parliament last week) today said he was ‘appalled’ by the appointment
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage today said he was ‘appalled’ that far-Right activist Tommy Robinson has been appointed as an adviser to the party.
The English Defence League founder – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – will advise current Ukip chief Gerard Batten on rape gangs and prison reform.
But Mr Farage told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Well, I’m appalled. The NEC of the party voted overwhelmingly last week not to have a ballot of members to let the man, potentially, join the party.
‘But Gerard Batten has got this, sort of, fixation with Tommy Robinson and discussing Islam, and dragging Ukip into a direction of effectively being a, sort of, street activist party.’
Mr Batten said Mr Robinson – who in May was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court in relation to his activities filming defendants in grooming trials – had ‘great knowledge’ about the subjects.
Mr Robinson (right) is pictured with Ukip leader Gerard Batten (left), who has appointed him as a special adviser to the party on the issues of rape gangs and prison conditions
Robinson (centre) surrounded by supporters at City Thameslink railway station in September
Mr Robinson’s sentence has since been quashed and the case referred to the Attorney General.
Currently, Ukip has a ban on allowing former members of the British National Party and the EDL from joining the party – meaning the anti-Islam campaigner is barred.
But Mr Batten said: ‘I have appointed Tommy Robinson to be a personal special adviser on two subjects which he has great knowledge.
‘It is not necessary for him to be a party member in order to assist me in this role. I am looking forward to working with him.’
Police hold back supporters of Robinson outside the Old Bailey in London two months ago
Robinson (left) with EDL fans in masks protesting in Woolwich, South East London, in 2013
Mr Robinson also has convictions for mortgage fraud, drugs and public order offences.
Gerard Batten has got this, sort of, fixation with Tommy Robinson and discussing Islam, and dragging Ukip into a direction of effectively being a, sort of, street activist party
Nigel Farage, former Ukip leader
Years before he founded the EDL in 2009, he was convicted of an assault, reportedly on an off-duty police officer.
Mr Robinson was also imprisoned in 2013 for using someone else’s passport to travel to the US.
Other convictions include drugs and public order offences and he was jailed in 2014 for 18 months for mortgage fraud.
He said that ‘going to prison was the best thing that ever happened to me’ after the passport conviction.
Europe must curb immigration to stop the rise of Right-wing populism, says Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton in New York City last week
Hillary Clinton has said Europe must curb immigration to stop the rise of Right-wing populism.
The defeated Democratic presidential candidate told The Guardian: ‘I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame.
Mrs Clinton added that while she admired the ‘generous and compassionate’ approach taken by the likes of Angela Merkel, ‘Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support’.
She said the success of Right-wing populism was ‘a serious threat to our freedom’.