Dozens of MPs demand Trump administration blocks Tommy Robinson’s US visit

Dozens of MPs from across the political spectrum have sent a letter to the US government demanding the country blocks a proposed visit by Tommy Robinson for an upcoming speaking engagement.

The correspondence expresses “grave concern” the far-right agitator could raise an estimated £1 million during the trip – which, it says, would be pumped back into dividing UK communities.

And it points out that Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – is already banned from entering the US stemming from a series of past criminal convictions.

Among the 55 MPs who have signed the letter, addressed to Donald Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, are Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat members.

High profile signatories include Labour MPs Vernon Coaker and Ian Austin, and Tory MP Michael Fabricant.

It warns: “The purpose of the visit in question is for Yaxley-Lennon to speak to prominent audiences in Washington DC and to secure media appearances to promote his violent and extremist agenda… He is expected to be able to raise $1.4 million during the potential visit. We expect he would use those funds to organise further disruptive demonstrations in communities across the UK.”

Seven Republican congressmen along with the anti-Muslim groups, the Middle East Forum and the David Horowitz Freedom Centre, have invited Robinson to speak at a closed event.

But the 35-year-old would need a special waiver from the US government to travel because of a long-standing ban.

In 2012 he was convicted of entering the country on a false passport, for which he received a 10-month prison sentence in the UK. He travelled on a false passport having been denied a visa because of previous criminal convictions for violence.

Joe Mulhall, senior researcher at Hope Not Hate, said: “Stephen Lennon is a violent thug who broke American law by entering the US on a fake passport in 2012. It would make a mockery of the US laws for the administration to allow him into the country.”

The letter follows a day after PayPal banned Robinson from using its payment system.

The company said: “We do not take decisions like these lightly, and we work hard to be rigorous and fair-minded when reviewing PayPal accounts.

“Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today.”

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Robinson said: “They just don’t like my opinion and want to silence me. The government and establishment can see I have public support, they can see I have the ability to fight back.”

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