Trump’s ambassador lobbied Britain on behalf of jailed right-wing activist Tommy Robinson

LONDON (Reuters) – Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, complained to the British ambassador in Washington D.C. concerning the remedy of an English right-wing activist who’s in jail for disrupting a trial, in response to three sources accustomed to the dialogue.

FILE PHOTO: English Defence League chief Tommy Robinson arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Brownback raised the case of the activist often called Tommy Robinson in a June assembly with Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s Ambassador to the United States, in response to a British official and two sources near the organizers of a pro-Robinson demonstration deliberate for London on Saturday.

Robinson, whose actual title is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, although he additionally makes use of different aliases, is a founding father of the English Defense League, which has organized violent demonstrations towards Islamic immigrants within the UK up to now decade. More just lately, Robinson has branded himself a journalist and campaigner towards Islamic extremism, a transfer that gained him contacts with American anti-Muslim activists.

Robinson was arrested in late May outdoors a courthouse in Leeds, England, whereas making video recordings a couple of trial associated to baby molestation and jailed for 13 months for violating English regulation limiting publicity throughout legal trials.

Brownback raised the jailing of Robinson throughout a gathering with Darroch that coated a variety of “religious freedom issues”, the British official confirmed earlier this week.

Brownback informed Darroch that if Britain didn’t deal with Robinson extra sympathetically, the Trump administration could be compelled to criticize Britain’s dealing with of the case, in response to the 2 sources involved with organizers of the deliberate pro-Robinson demonstration.

The sources stated Robinson’s supporters, who’ve additionally been in contact with the Trump administration concerning the situation, had been involved that he may very well be attacked by different prisoners.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, releases and feedback on the division’s annual report on spiritual freedom world wide in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

Reuters was unable to find out why the highest U.S. official accountable for defending spiritual freedom would attempt to intervene with the British authorities on behalf of an activist who has expressed ant-Islamic views.

Brownback, who’s a former governor of Kansas and former U.S. senator, was not accessible for remark. However, on Thursday a U.S. State Department spokesman stated the “characterizations” of Brownback’s assembly with Darroch by Reuters sources had been “completely false” however the spokesman didn’t elaborate additional.

The British Embassy had no touch upon additional particulars of the dialogue.

Last week, the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia group, stated it was sponsoring and organizing a “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstration in London close to the British Parliament on Saturday in collaboration with British and European teams.

The occasion was anticipated to merge with an illustration in assist of U.S. President Donald Trump, who appointed Brownback, in response to the British newspaper The Independent.

Demonstration organizers stated in a leaflet which circulated in London this week that Republican U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar and Dutch far-right chief Geert Wilders had been scheduled to talk at its rally. U.S. Congressman Gosar didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

But Wilders tweeted on Thursday that he wouldn’t attend the rally as a result of the U.Ok. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Williams, informed Dutch authorities Britain wouldn’t present safety for him.

British police stated they had been imposing restrictions on the occasion to “prevent serious disruptions” after protesters at a earlier occasion made Nazi salutes and threw bottles at officers.

A spokesman for Hope Not Hate, a British anti-racism group, stated, “In the week President Trump comes to the UK, his hand-picked diplomat allying himself with a far-right convicted fraudster perhaps shouldn’t be too much of a shock.”

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by John Walcott

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