Tommy Robinson has announced that he wants to stand for parliament — either in Brussels, as an MEP, if Brexit fails, or in Westminster.
“If anyone in this country wants to really rock the boat put me in there [Parliament] because I won’t lie and I won’t hold back!” he told me when we met this month.
But that was before last Thursday’s announcement by Attorney-General Geoffrey Cox that it is “in the public interest” to bring further proceedings against Robinson for contempt of court.
As the Guardian reports:
Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court in May last year after he allegedly filmed people involved in the criminal trial of four men who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.
But a contempt finding was quashed by the court of appeal in August and he was freed on bail pending new proceedings at the Old Bailey.
If convicted, Robinson could be sent to prison once more — putting paid, at least temporarily, to his political ambitions.
There is no bar to standing for election as an MP once you are released from prison.
Robinson told me:
“If Brexit’s delayed — as I think it will be — I’ll stand as an MEP.”
But not for Westminster, surely?
“Oh I think I would. I’d need to have that discussion with UKIP. I’d stand near a Northern town, plagued with Islam. I have a love for the North East…”
What piqued this ambition was when, after his release from prison, he was taken for lunch in the Houses of Parliament by Lord Pearson — much to the ostentatious disgust of many MPs.
“When I saw all the terrible things the MPs were saying about me afterwards, I thought to myself: ‘One day I’m going to be sitting amongst you…’,” he recalled.
Elsewhere in the interview, Robinson described his experiences in prison, where he was held last year on contempt of court charges.
Robinson says he was forced, for his own safety, to spend his time there in solitary confinement throughout.
“I had to keep my windows closed because of all the excrement they’d chuck in,” he claimed, adding that he couldn’t eat any of the food, which he says was prepared by Muslim prisoners, because it would be deliberately tainted.
“After day one, all I’m hearing is voices saying: ‘Enjoy your dinner, Tommy.'”
As a result, he says, he spent his entire sentence in solitary, with just half an hour’s exercise in the yard a day, surviving on the five cans of tuna which was all he could afford on his £12.50 weekly allowance.
He told me that by the time he left he was severely malnourished and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
What kept him going were the letters he received around the world from his fans — piles and piles of them. He found it hard to hold back the tears just thinking about the kindness of these strangers.
“It was such a beautiful thing, to see how emotionally it had affected all these people. They’d say things like: ‘I’m not political, I’ve never voted, I’ve never written to anyone before – but now I’m writing to you and I’ll be at any demonstration for you’.”
Robinson also spoke about the recent social media ban imposed on him by Facebook and Instagram.
He totally rejected the claim that one of the reasons he was booted off Facebook was for saying: “Behead those who follow Islam”.
“If I’d said anything like that, I’d be in jail,” he said. The real reason for the ban, he alleges, is that an Islamist activist called Mohammed Shafiq made representations to former Deputy Prime Minister “Sir” Nick Clegg, with whom he’d worked in the Liberal Democrats.
Clegg is now head of Facebook’s global affairs and communications team and is, of course, very much part of the liberal Establishment which would prefer a troublemaker like Tommy to be silenced.
So what is Tommy’s beef?
“Our culture, our identity, our future is really in danger,” he says. “Not just in Europe but across the entire West.”
The threat, he says, comes not just from mass migration, open borders and Islamisation but also in the global elite’s increasing crackdown on freedom of speech.
“We can be cowards or we can speak honestly,” he told me. “I know I’m on the right side of history.”
But what would he say to Muslims who feel threatened by him?
He would tell them exactly what he told three young Muslim men who confronted him in a gay club the other day. (Gay clubs are the only kind of clubs where Tommy feels safe.)
“The freedoms you enjoy and love are the freedoms I want to protect,” he told them.
“The ideology I oppose is the ideology that would kill everyone in this club; that would forbid you from drinking that double-vodka and Coke you’re drinking.”