Notorious UK Islamophobe Tommy Robinson Arrested During Rebel News Speaking Tour

Robinson had to surrender his passport and may be removed from Canada after an immigration review.

Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Source: Wikimedia Commons

As he walked out of the Montréal–Trudeau International Airport on June 17, Tommy Robinson was shocked he was permitted into Canada. 

“I didn’t think I’d get into Canada. Haven’t even booked a hotel. We’re sorting it out now,” he said in a video posted to Rebel News social media channels. Now, according to an exchange with Calgary Police, filmed by Robinson and posted online, he is alleged to have lied on his visa application. 

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Arguably Britain’s most infamous Islamophobic activist - whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - Robinson gained attention in 2009 when he launched the anti-Muslim English Defence League. The group held “often-violent demonstrations in towns and cities with visible Muslim communities,” according to UK-based anti-hate organization Hope Not Hate. 

Robinson would go on to rebrand himself as a “journalist” and work for Rebel News in 2017. Several of Robinson’s videos for Rebel News are cited in a 2019 criminal complaint by Canadian Anti-Hate Network board member Richard Warman. The complaint alleges that Rebel News directors violated s. 319(2) of the Criminal Code for wilfully promoting hatred towards the Muslim community.

Robinson has made a name for himself promoting the idea of Muslim-led “rape gangs” operating en masse and unchecked “in every town and city that has an Islamic community,” a sentiment he repeated last week on a livestream with Action4Canada’s Tanya Gaw. He says that Muslims “need to go now,” and warns that the government will let your daughter “get raped and killed” as a consequence of “open borders.”

On Friday, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network wrote a letter to Public Safety and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, pointing out that Robinson was ineligible to enter Canada because of his criminal record and urging that he be removed from the country.

Robinson was arrested by Calgary Police shortly after speaking to a Calgary crowd on Monday on what they called an outstanding immigration warrant. He must surrender his passport and has to remain in southern Alberta until his immigration review. 

Robinson was set to appear at speaking events in Edmonton on June 25, and Toronto on June 30, organized by Rebel News. Earlier this month, Rebel News was identified as the owner of a video billboard truck broadcasting an Islamophobic video warning that Canada is “under siege.”

Recording himself in the back of a police vehicle, Robinson is seen saying to officers, “Ain't it mad how tough you get with immigration on the wrong people? It's mental, innit? You act like absolute spineless cowards as a country, letting every bloody goddamn fucking Abdul and whoever into your country. 

“You don't know nothing about them, their criminal histories, or anything, or their ideologies, and then you turn up mob handed for me to give them a talk at a seminar.”

The officer then responds, “Well, it’s rather ironic that you’re talking about criminal history coming from the guy who lied on his application about his criminal history.”

Robinson denies lying on his application to enter Canada when the officer asks who applied for his electronic visa.

“My boss,” Robinson says. “Your boss? Well, your boss lied,” the officer responds. 

Robinson then asks “Well, what did it ask?,” to which the officer says “It asks if you’ve ever been arrested, charged or convicted with any crime anywhere in the world. It also asks about your immigration history. The answers to all of those were ‘no.’”

Robinson brushes off the exchange, saying “How many people do you get coming through your border every day that you don't even have a passport? They haven't even got passports. They just turn up. And then you give them a house.” 

In a subsequent video with Rebel News’ Ezra Levant, Robinson says he can’t leave Alberta, and must stay between Red Deer and the United States border. He goes on to say that he must turn in his passport and report to the police every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday as he awaits a hearing with a judge who will determine whether he needs to leave the country. 

Robinson has faced a lengthy list of criminal charges, convictions, and controversies over the years. 

Tommy Robinson’s past legal troubles span decades

  • 2005: he spent 12 months in prison after assaulting an off-duty police officer
  • 2011: he was imprisoned for 12 months for his role in a football brawl 
  • 2012: he was jailed for 10 months after he attempted to enter the United States with a false passport 
  • 2014: he was convicted of mortgage fraud and imprisoned for 18 months 
  • 2017: he received a suspended sentence for putting a trial at Canterbury Crown Court at risk of collapse – after he broadcast statements from inside the court building.
  • 2018: he was jailed for a similar offence at Leeds Crown Court. However, he was released after successfully challenging the court’s sentencing procedure. In 2019,  the attorney general decided that it was in the public interest to bring further proceedings against him, for which he served a 9 month sentence. 
  • 2021: he was given a five-year stalking protection order after he shouted abuse outside the home of a journalist, threatening to repeatedly return to her residence every night 

Robinson lost a libel lawsuit filed by Syrian refugee Jamal Hijazi in 2021. New charges were laid against him the day he landed in Canada for allegedly violating a court order by repeating the false allegations that Hijazi, then a teenager, attacked girls in his school.

In addition to being banned from entering the United States due to his immigration fraud conviction in 2012, Robinson is also banned from Mexico. In 2022, Mexican officials refused Robinson entry after he attempted to enter the country on holiday. “I’m being deported as a matter of national security,” he said in a video posted to social media at the time. 

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