Tommy Robinson was told to stop bribing supporters with free burgers and hot dogs at an election rally as it was breaking electoral law.
The former English Defence League leader announced his MEP candidacy yesterday (Thursday) at an election rally in Manchester after being banned from social media, to stand for the North West as an independent candidate.
Despite his announcement he is due to appear at the High Court on May 14 accused of committing contempt of court in May 2018, where he allegedly live-streamed a Facebook video breaking reporting restrictions put in place on a grooming gang trial in Leeds, which could see his election campaign crushed and up to two years in jail.
After being told by police to stop as he was breaking electoral law, the 36-year-old told over 300 followers he would represent the “working class of England” even if it meant engaging in a “David versus Goliath” battle to achieve it.
“Everyone is so disillusioned with the liars in Parliament, but that is also our weakness,” he said, “It’s the reason we are being betrayed and will continue being betrayed until they fear us.”
He added: “The only way they will dear us is if we take their seats.”
The anti-Islam activist stated to the crowd he would be on a “travel roadshow” over the next four weeks to appeal to working-class communities in the North West and hinted he could be the first independent candidate to win.
He said: “This is David versus Goliath, nobody has ever won as an independent – do you realise the shock waves we will send across the world if we galvanise and unite the people who don’t vote.
“The reason we are betrayed is because we don’t vote – I’ve never voted because there is no one to vote for. We need to take their seats,” he added.
But Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – does not have the support of everyone.
Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Mike Kane, co-signed a condemnation letter with Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders stating Robinson’s “far-right political views are not welcome in our town and our great city”.
The letter added: “Together, on behalf of our community, we felt it necessary to speak out against his visit. We are firm in our belief that violence and racism have no place in our political discourse.”
As well as his continuing court case, the anti-Islamist has several previous convictions for assault, drug possession, public order offences, and mortgage fraud in 2014 for which he spent 18 months in prison.