Tommy Robinson was the subject of a protest in Manchester last night – just hours after announcing his intention to run as an MEP for the North West.
The far-right figure had just revealed his candidacy for the upcoming European elections when people representing Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism mobilised outside the Town Hall.
The group waved placards and handed out literature denouncing Robinson and exposing his shady past, including that he was once a member of the BNP and the founder of the EDL.
Standing in solidarity, the congregation held up a banner which read: “No to Tommy Robinson. No to fascism.”
In the literature, the protestors outlined that they believed Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – stood a real chance of being elected due to the proportional representation used in forthcoming elections in May.
It referenced former BNP leader Nick Griffin, who was elected to the European Council in 2009. He later lost his seat in 2014 after numerous campaigns against him.
Robinson announced his intention to run as an independent MEP during an event held in Wythenshawe on Thursday.
Hundreds of people attended the rally, despite community leaders and politicians condemning his presence in south Manchester.
Armed with a microphone, Robinson, 36, took swipes at Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn for ‘betraying the Brexit vote’.
He even turned his attention to former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, branding him ‘just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes’.
He added: “Do you think Nigel Farage has ever spent time in a working class community? He’s a millionaire trader and Tory.”
Unfortunately for Robinson, the event wasn’t without its hiccups.
The gathering was plagued by technology problems, which meant there were problems with him sending out his message over the PA system.
In addition, police later told him to stop handing out free burgers and hot dogs because it could be seen as a bribe to get people to vote for him, therefore breaking electoral rules.
‘Hope Not Hate’ later began a crusade to encourage people not to vote for Robinson.
‘Tommy Robinson’ will be on the ballot paper in the euro elections. RT this so everyone in the north west knows he is a convicted fraudster and thug before they vote. pic.twitter.com/1ZXrWi1QCM
— HOPE not hate (@hopenothate) April 25, 2019
Sharing a video detailing his run-ins with the law, the advocacy group tweeted: “’Tommy Robinson’ will be on the ballot paper in the euro elections. RT this so everyone in the north west knows he is a convicted fraudster and thug before they vote.”
The video has already been re-tweeted more than 5,000 times.
The European elections will be held on Thursday, May 23 if the UK hasn’t finalised its withdrawal from the EU.