John Bercow brands Tommy Robinson ‘loathsome, obnoxious, repellent’

editorial image
0
Have your say

The former English Defence League leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has been called a “loathsome, obnoxious, repellent individual” by the Commons speaker after it emerged he was taken for lunch in the House of Lords by a UKIP peer.

SNP MP Stewart McDonald called for Mr Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by the name Tommy Robinson, to be banned from parliament after photos were published showing him dining with Lord Pearson of Rannoch shortly after facing charges of contempt of court.

Mr McDonald used a point of order after PMQs to call Mr Yaxley-Lennon a “violent, racist thug and fraudster” who should not be “invited to walk amongst us on the parliamentary estate”.

Mr Bercow told the Glasgow South MP that he agreed with his assessment of the former EDL leader, but said the House of Lords estate and peers’ guests were matters for his counterpart in the upper house, the Lord Speaker.

Mr McDonald told MPs: “It’s entirely correct that members of both Houses engage in robust, political debate around the parliamentary estate.

“But today we have learned that yesterday the violent, racist thug and fraudster known as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, or Tommy Robinson, was invited on to the estate and wined and dined in the House of Lords yesterday.

• READ MORE: Tommy Robinson bailed as contempt case referred to Attorney General

“I understand that sometimes we have to engage in views that one might not agree with, but surely, surely the fact that a man who is as guilty as he is - on stirring up racial hatred, organising violent, thuggish crimes around the country, setting up the EDL and everything that comes with it - crosses a line.

“And such a person shouldn’t be invited to walk amongst us on the parliamentary estate.”

Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s contempt of court case was sent to the Attorney General on Tuesday, after which he reportedly went for lunch in the House of Lords.

He was freed from prison in August after three judges quashed a contempt of court finding made at Leeds Crown Court.

But he could be jailed again if he is again found in contempt for filming people in a Huddersfield grooming trial in Leeds and broadcasting the footage on social media.

The Old Bailey heard on Tuesday that he denied breaching the Contempt of Court Act and making a broadcast likely to seriously prejudice the trial. He was released on bail.