Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been refused a US visa, denying him entry into the country to attend an event on Islam, arranged by several Republican politicians, according to a financial backer of the controversial figure.
Robinson, founder of the English Defence League (EDL), who is currently on bail after being charged with contempt of court, will have to wait “a while” for a US visa to be granted, according to neoconservative Daniel Pipes – the president of Middle East Forum (MEF), a conservative think-tank.
According to the Press Association, Robinson has labelled reports he has been denied a visa as “fake news.”
In 2013 Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – was jailed for 10 months for entering the US using someone else’s passport. The far-right activist turned self-styled journalist, has a myriad of other convictions to his name, including drug offenses, a number of assaults, leading a football riot and mortgage fraud.
Robinson, who has staged a number of protests against Islam, had planned to attend an event on the religion he has said “promotes killing people” – a remark he claims got him banned from Twitter. He was invited to the event, scheduled for Wednesday, by Republican, Paul Gosar and six other congresspeople from the Conservative Opportunity Society.
Gosar is an ardent backer of Robinson, having spoke at a London rally in July in support of the then-imprisoned activist.
The Guardian report that if Robinson were successful in gaining entry into the US, he could make a whopping £1 million – making him one of the highest paid far-right figures since World War II, according to an analysis by anti-fascist campaigners.
The MEF has been funding Robinson’s legal battle against the contempt of court charge, and were singled out for praise by Robinson following his latest court appearance. The think-tank also funded the legal defense of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders.
Pipes said his group was still optimistic that Robinson, could be granted a US visa at a later date.
A US state department spokesperson told the Guardian: “Applications are refused if an applicant is found ineligible under the Immigration and Nationality Act or other provisions of US law.”
The news comes as PayPal became the latest company to ban Robinson from using its service. Robinson said the company told him he did not adhere to their guidelines. The company told the Guardian they do not comment on individual cases but insisted: “We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
Robinson has scheduled a five-city speaking tour of Australia in December with Gavin McInnes, the co-founder of Vice. The pair refer to themselves as ‘The Deplorables’, a reference to former US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton’s name for a section of Donald Trump’s supporters.
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