Asylum for Tommy Robinson?

Sorry, we mean Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

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Will Tommy Robinson get asylum in the US?

By Joe Harker

Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been found guilty of contempt of court.

He is due to be sentenced today, though he denies breaching a reporting ban by livestreaming footage of defendents arriving at court for a trial.

High court judges were "entirely satisfied" that Robinson knew an order restricting reporting on the trial was in force, meaning he was found in contempt because breaching the ban risked impeding the course of justice.

The Claim:

Robinson has begged US president Donald Trump and the American government for asylum, appearing on conspiracy channel InfoWars to broadcast his plea.

He claimed "dark forces" were acting against him and that British prisons were "controlled by jihadi gangs" which would put his life in danger if he was incarcerated.

However, he might not get that asylum because of past offences which have led to him being refused entry to the US on previous occasions.

Robinson has been in jail three times before and his convictions for violence, drug possession and public order offences could impede his chances of gaining asylum. He was once jailed for using a friend's passport to illegally travel to New York in 2012.

Committing certain crimes is grounds for the US to bar and individual from being granted asylum.

The Counter Claim:

Then again, the president knows who Robinson is and few people seeking asylum in the US can say that for their case.

Meanwhile, Salim Kassam writes in the Metro that Robinson might benefit from seeking asylum, an experience to change his mind.

Kassam writes that Robinson has become infamous in part due to "hating not only refugees and asylum seekers, but many of his fellow Brits of immigrant background", now he has become an asylum seeker.

Perhaps his experience with seeking asylum in the US will make him realise people leaving their home countries and trying to gain asylum elsewhere have a reason to do so.

The irony of the situation is not lost on anyone who has little love for Robinson.

The Facts:

A spokesperson from the US State Department said they consider all requests for asylum on a case by case basis.

Robinson broke reporting restrictions on grooming trials in Leeds, with the videos he took used by the defence to try and have the jury dismissed. Had this application been successful it would have forced a retrial or seen the case collapse completely.

The press has to be careful what details it reports about a trial so as not to prejudice a jury. If reporting is not careful then the defence could successfully a fair trial could be impossible to conduct.

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