Tommy Robinson announces he is standing as candidate in EU elections

Katy Clifton

Tommy Robinson has announced he is standing as a candidate in the upcoming EU elections.

The far-right activist, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, launched his bid to become an MEP in the European Parliament on Tuesday, the final day of nominations to stand in the poll.

Announcing that he will be standing in the North West region as an independent, he urged people to vote for him and said the EU will “long for the days when it was just Nigel Farage”.

Launching his campaign ahead of the May 23 poll, Mr Robinson wrote on his website: “They're laughing at us. All of them, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, the European Union bureaucrats.

“17.4 million of us voted for Brexit, but they don’t care about people like us. They’ve tried to silence us, and they took away our democratic rights by betraying Brexit.

“The election on 23rd May is how we fight back. Put me right inside the EU and they won’t know what hit them. They’ll long for the days when it was just Nigel Farage.”

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson on the big screen (PA)

Mr Robinson, founder of the English Defence League, is at the forefront of the UK’s far-right movement and recently worked with Ukip leader Gerard Batten, although he is barred from joining the party.

He also joined a “Make Brexit Happen” rally earlier this month, telling supporters “Nigel Farage doesn’t care about you.”

On his new site, Mr Robinson added: “I admire what Farage achieved in the past. But at the end of the day, he’s just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes."

“I’ve spent a decade fighting for Britain — especially for the forgotten people who have no voice," he said, adding: “Now it’s time to move that fight right into the heart of the EU itself.”

Tommy Robinson with pro-Brexit supporters (EPA)

Anti-extremism campaigners Hope Not Hate have now called for voters to sign up to oppose the "far-right thug".

Chief executive Nick Lowles said: "Stephen Lennon is a far-right thug who uses his platform to bully, abuse and stir up division, monetising his hatred to rake in donations from his fans.

"In these Euro elections, the fewer people who vote, the easier it is for extremists to win a seat, so if you've ever been appalled or angered by Stephen Lennon's constant diet of fake news, hatred and abuse towards others, then you need to ensure you, your friends, family and community turn up and vote on May 23. The North West needs a voice of hope, not hatred."

Tommy Robinson (AFP/Getty Images)

It comes after YouTube placed new restrictions on Mr Robinson’s channel earlier this month, banning him from live streaming and removing him from search results.

YouTube said that although the 36-year-old's videos are not illegal, it decided to apply tougher treatment in response to users flagging his content as potentially violating its rules against hate speech and violent extremism.

The restrictions mean that all of the activist's videos now come with a content warning before anyone is able to watch them and are removed from recommendations, while users can no longer comment, suggest or like the videos.