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23rd Nov 2018

UKIP appoints Tommy Robinson as ‘grooming gangs adviser’

The party lurches to the far-right

Oli Dugmore

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon stands beside a man in a Donald Trump mask as he addresses supporters outside the Old Bailey on October 23, 2018 in London, England. The Former English Defence League leader and British National Party member is facing a re-trial on charges of contempt. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

The party lurches to the far-right

UKIP appointed Tommy Robinson as its ‘grooming gangs adviser’ on Thursday night.

The party already admitted Count Dankular, Paul Joseph Watson and Milo Yiannopoulos to its party membership but Tommy Robinson’s advisory role, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, represents a significant move to the right.

Former leader and venerated UKIP icon Nigel Farage condemned the decision.

Yaxley-Lennon’s official capacity is to advise leader Gerrard Batten on grooming gangs and prison.

Batten replaced Henry Bolton as UKIP’s frontman in February, he holds extreme views on Islam. He has called the religion a “death cult” and suggested Muslims in Britain should be asked to sign a document renouncing elements of the Qu’ran.

He said: “I have appointed Tommy Robinson to be a personal special adviser on two subjects which he has great knowledge. It is not necessary for him to be a party member in order to assist me in this role. I am looking forward to working with him.”

Speaking on LBC, Nigel Farage said: “I’m absolutely appalled. When I was leader of Ukip, we wanted to talk about issues like excessive immigration, illegal immigration, the excesses of Islam, but we wanted to do so as absolutely a non-racist, non-sectarian party.

“I wouldn’t allow anyone to even become a member of the party who’d formerly been with the EDL or the BNP.

“On every level, I’m upset, I’m angry.

“Mr Batten appears to have an obsession with this guy. The time has come for them to get rid of him as leader.”

Yaxley-Lennon has convictions for assault, drugs and public order offences. He is waiting for the result of an appeal for a contempt of court charge.