Boris Johnson has been urged to publicly reject the endorsement of far-right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
The English Defence League founder, who is also known as Tommy Robinson, called on his followers to back the prime minister, adding: “Go Boris.”
Now Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has called on Johnson to distance himself from Yaxley-Lennon.
The controversial activist, who has been repeatedly accused of Islamophobia, was speaking outside High Court, where he faces libel charges over a comment he made online about a Syrian refugee attacked in a school playground.
Yaxley-Lennon was reportedly asked about Brexit, and replied: “Everyone should vote for Boris Johnson.
“And I’m so happy with what Nigel Farage has done. He should attack the Labour heartlands. If we want Brexit, if we believe in democracy, we have to have Brexit. So yeah. Go Boris.”
Swinson has written to the PM saying: “Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, today encouraged people to vote for you in the general election.”
The letter asks Johnson to “publicly reject his endorsement” and “dog-whistle politics”, adding: “There should be no place for figures such as Yaxley-Lennon in British politics and his endorsement should be anathema to any candidate seeking to improve the lives of people across the UK.
“Hate crimes are on the rise across the UK and politics has been blighted by threats and violent language. It is incumbent on all those in the public eye to reject toxic rhetoric and figures who seek to sow division and fear.”
HuffPost UK has contacted the Conservatives for comment.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.