Ed ~ This is the second part, you can read the first part here on UKIPDaily.
STEPHEN CHRISTOPHER YAXLEY-LENNON, is a far-right activist and convicted criminal. He uses ‘Tommy Robinson’, the name of a member of the “Men In Gear” football hooligan crew.
Should he be allowed to join UKIP? Would his criminal and anti-social behaviour make him credible in representing UKIP? Would he stimulate the perception that UKIP is extremist, indeed, would it become extremist? Is he a champion of citizen journalism and freedom of speech? Is he a serial criminal offender?
He has convictions ranging from violence and illegal immigration to drug offences and fraud. He has been involved in pub and football brawls and banned by Luton Football Club for three years.
People accept expressions of regret, backed up by evidence of change. UKIP, as champions of free speech, believe he should be allowed to express his views, within the law. However, is he a good role model and is his behaviour likely to cause the media and left wingers to successfully ridicule our party and persuade the public that we are a peripheral extremist nonentity. Would his joining stimulate a change of direction and take our eye off the ball? Our constitution clearly states two objectives – to leave the EU and to keep the UK together. Whilst we should be working to ensure a meaningful BREXIT, we appear to be mired in controversial infighting – again. It must stop. UKIP must unite, avoid distraction and focus on its very ‘raison d’etre’
Should UKIP allow former members of proscribed parties to apply for membership – judging all on their merits? Even if the ban on proscribed parties is lifted, should Yaxley – Lennon have an application to join the party accepted? Would his criminality and anti-social behaviour over many years debar him? Has he demonstrated he is a reformed character?
- Joined the BNP in 2004.
- Founded and was leader of the EDL, – he resigned in 2013.
- Vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party in 2012.
- Instrumental in the development of Pegida UK.
- Instrumental in founding the European Defence League – similar to the EDL.
SOME CRIMINAL AND ANTI-SOCIAL HISTORY
- 2003 assault of policeman – 12-months prison – losing his job at Luton Airport.
- 2010 – an integral part in a 100-man brawl involving Luton ‘fans’, during which he chanted “EDL till I die”, – 12-month community rehabilitation order, 150 hours unpaid work, three-year ban from football matches
- 2011 convicted for using “threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour” during a fight between football ‘fans’.
- Arrested after an EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets in September 2011 for breach of bail conditions. Went on hunger strike in HM Prison Bedford.
- September 2011, convicted of common assault after headbutting someone. – 12 weeks, suspended 12 months.
- Banned from entering the USA due to a drugs offence.
- October 2012, arrested on the charge of entering the United States illegally whilst using someone else’s passport. Pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court – 10 months’ imprisonment. Released on electronic tag February 2013.
- Pleaded guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud in relation to a mortgage application and in January 2014 sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. In June 2014 released on licence.
- Was due to talk to the Oxford Union in October 2014 but recalled to prison before the event for breaching the terms of licence. Released on 14 November 2014.
- May 2017 – convicted of contempt of court for videoing defendants in a child rape case inside Canterbury Crown Court – 3 month committal to prison, suspended on terms he agreed to. The Judge said “this is not about free speech, not about the freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness. It is about justice and ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly, it’s about being innocent until proven guilty. It is about preserving the integrity of the jury to continue without people being intimidated or being affected by irresponsible and inaccurate ‘reporting’, if that’s what it was”.
- May 2018 – arrested for breach of the peace while live streaming defendants entering Leeds Crown Court during a trial, contrary to a court order to prevent reporting while proceedings were ongoing – ten months for contempt of court and his previous three months’ suspended committal was activated. Yaxley-Lennon was told a retrial could have cost “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds”.
Yaxley-Lennon would have known prison was inevitable. Was he deliberately seeking such an outcome, in order to be a ‘martyr’? He pleaded guilty to breaking terms of suspension. His lawyer said that he felt “deep regret” after comprehending the potential consequences of his behaviour.
He pleaded guilty. He felt deep regret. He knew what he was doing. The judge had no choice. Why, if he pleaded guilty and genuinely felt deep regret and comprehended the potential consequences, did his supporters riot the following day?
Was misuse of the law a responsible way to deal with his issues. The defendants WERE ALREADY BEING TRIED FOR crimes that Yaxley-Lennon and the mob were causing public unrest and potentially dangerous situations about. Justice was being done.
I support Mr Yaxley – Lennon’s cause against child abuse by grooming gangs.
I do not support his method of misusing or breaking the law, for instance
- By agreeing to terms and breaking them,
- By expressing regret but continuing to behave in a criminal and anti-social manner,
- By intimidating or potentially intimidating court workers, police, jurors, public, judiciary, barristers, solicitors and ancillary workers
- By causing supporters to riot in support of him, despite his admissions of guilt and statement of regret.
Even if allowed to join UKIP – or any other respectable political party – he could surely never stand for Parliament or local councils. Neither could he reasonably expect to take a leading role – in a political party. His criminal record would surely render him to be not at all credible.
Joining UKIP would hinder his ability to work for his cause. He should focus on his objectives within the law but without the restrictions of being bound by the rules and policy of any political party.
Joining UKIP would help neither Mr Yaxley – Lennon, nor enhance UKIP’s reputation with the general public as a maturing party with the specific objective of leaving the European Union and with a wide range of pragmatic policies working towards a Greater Britain in control of its own destiny.