Tommy Robinson now commands an online prominence to rival Britain’s best-known politicians. The man known as Tommy Robinson is a 36-year-old father of three from Luton, England, with a history of violence and multiple spells in prison. A veteran of far-right street movements, he does not — yet — have a political party to call home, refuses to talk to the mainstream media and has been kicked off Twitter. Yet Robinson — whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon — can lay credible claim to being one of the most influential people in British politics, alongside top-rank politicians such as Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. With more than 1 million followers on Facebook, the anti-Muslim activist is the biggest beneficiary of a burgeoning ecosystem of right-wing populist media — a loose web of networked social media pages, video accounts and hyper-partisan news sites that amplify each other’s messages, providing figures such as Robinson reach rivaling traditional media outfits.
The man to ‘make the British establishment’s head blow off’
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