Tommy Robinson supporters and critics gather outside Old Bailey

Tommy Robinson supporters and critics in rival demos outside Old Bailey as English Defence League founder arrives to face contempt of court charge

  • Robinson, 36, was jailed for 13 months in May, 2018 after filming people on trial
  • A contempt finding made against him was quashed by Court of Appeal in August
  • But he is now facing fresh proceedings from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC

Supporters and critics of Tommy Robinson have gathered outside the Old Bailey today as he arrives to face an allegation of contempt of court. 

The former English Defence League leader was jailed for 13 months in May last year after filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.   

But a contempt finding made against Robinson was quashed by the Court of Appeal in August and he was freed from prison after serving two months of his sentence. 

But earlier this month Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC said it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, made a brief speech to his supporters outside the court, saying the case against him was ‘politically motivated’. 

Tommy Robinson arrives at the Old Bailey ahead of his latest contempt hearing today. It was decided earlier this month that he would face fresh proceedings 

Robinson made a brief speech to several hundred supporters outside the court, saying the case against him was ‘politically motivated’

The 36-year-old (pictured outside the Old Bailey today) is standing for election as a Member of the European Parliament for the North West Region in the European elections later this month

Supporters of Tommy Robinson gather outside the Old Bailey ahead of the latest stage of a case against the former EDL leader over an allegation he committed contempt of court

A Tommy Robinson supporter wears a hat saying ‘Make Britain Great Again’ as she gathers alongside others outside the Old Bailey today

Critics of Robinson have also gathered outside the Old Bailey today, some referencing recent incidents in which the 36-year-old had milkshake thrown over him

Hundreds have gathered outside the Old Bailey this afternoon ahead of the first hearing in the new case, which will take place before two High Court judges.

There are believed to be around 400 supporters of Robinson, and also a counter- demonstration nearby organised by the Stand Up To Racism group.

The group of Tommy Robinson supporters occasionally breaking into chants of ‘Tommy Robinson is going to be our MEP’ and ‘Oh Tommy Tommy, Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy Robinson’.

The pro- and anti-Robinson groups have also been heard trading chants, with shouts of ‘say it loud, say it clear – refugees are welcome here’, being drowned out by those singing Tommy Robinson’s name.

Robinson was jailed for 13 months in May last year after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial at Leeds Crown Court and broadcast the footage on social media.

Hundreds have gathered outside the Old Bailey today, with 400 supporters of Robinson believed to be in attendance

The pro- and anti-Robinson groups have also been heard trading chants, with shouts of ‘say it loud, say it clear – refugees are welcome here’, being drowned out by those singing Tommy Robinson’s name

Police are also in attendance outside the Old Bailey where Robinson is due to hear a fresh allegation of contempt of court

A protestor holds up asign urging Tommy Robinson to not face fresh criminal action. Robinson was jailed in May last year after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial at Leeds Crown Court and broadcast the footage on social media

The 36-year-old, from Luton, could be sent back to jail if he is again found in contempt, which carries a maximum sentence of two years

The footage, lasting around an hour and a half, was watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook.

It was filmed during one of a series of trials of a Huddersfield grooming gang, which was covered by strict reporting restrictions banning publication of any details until the end of the final one in September last year.

But a contempt finding made against Robinson was quashed by the Court of Appeal in August and he was freed from prison after serving two months of his sentence.

Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC was due to hear the case at the Old Bailey, but referred the case to the Attorney General in October after receiving a statement from Robinson.

The 36-year-old, from Luton, could be sent back to jail if he is again found in contempt, which carries a maximum sentence of two years.

Supporters have urged others to join them outside the Old Bailey today, where Robinson is facing an allegation of contempt of court

Supporters of Robinson gather outside The Old Bailey today ahead of his contempt of court hearing

Robinson, who is standing for election as a Member of the European Parliament for the North West Region in the European elections later this month, has previously vowed to contest the Attorney General’s decision

Critics have also gathered outside The Old Bailey today, where they are holding signs saying ‘oppose Tommy Robinson’

Some mentioned a recent incident in which Robinson had milkshake thrown over him while on the European election campaign trail

Robinson, who is standing for election as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the North West Region in the European elections later this month, has previously vowed to contest the Attorney General’s decision.

Crowds of supporters gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey for the previous hearings and Robinson made an address at the October hearing.

A statement from the Attorney General’s office on March 7 said Mr Cox had reached his decision based on an assessment of the evidence and whether it was in the ‘wider public interest’.

Mr Cox said: ‘After carefully considering the details of this case, I have concluded there are strong grounds to bring fresh contempt of court proceedings against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).

‘As proceedings are now under way, it would not be appropriate to comment further and I remind everyone that it is an offence to comment on live court cases.’

His appearance in London today comes just weeks after he had two milkshakes thrown over him one day after the other while on the European election campaign trail.

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