Tommy Robinson: Former leader of anti-immigration group arrested for alleged immigration offence

Tommy Robinson's arrest

Far-right activist Tommy Robinson, the former leader of anti-immigration group the English Defence League, has been arrested in Canada after giving a “freedom of speech” podcast talk.

The anti-Islam campaigner, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was handcuffed by officers in Calgary on suspicion on an immigration offence. 

Tommy Robinson was held and released on Monday (24 June). He has been ordered to stay in the country and surrender his passport. 

He was reinstated to X/Twitter last year, following breaches of its “hateful conduct policy”, and took to the platform following his arrest to write: “OK, I’m free, we’ll sort of. None of this makes sense, I’m now detained in Calgary, prevented from leaving the city. These conditions stop me from continuing my tour of Canada and meeting with guests for podcasts. I’m not even allowed to travel home.” 

A video of his arrest in Canada showed Tommy Robinson asking officers for the reason he was being detained, and was told it was under an “outstanding immigration warrant”.

He laughs at the camera, adding: “This is absolutely insane. Get me a lawyer.”

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Robinson has been in the country to give podcast talks to right-wing media website Rebel News about “freedom of speech” and his battles with the British police. 

Ezra Levant, the co-founder of Rebel News, took to X to launch a crowd-funder to pay for the “best lawyer” to represent Robinson. 

Robinson is still seen by many as the de facto leader of the anti-Islam English Defence League (EDL). He is a former member of the British National Party and other far right groups. 

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