Tommy Robinson: Eggs thrown at van as far-right activist visits Merseyside

Peter Stubley, Eleanor Barlow

Eggs and a bottle of what appeared to be milkshake were thrown as protesters attempted to disrupt a Tommy Robinson rally in Merseyside.

Demonstrators sat in the road to block traffic, chanted and waved anti-racist placards ahead of the far-right activist’s arrival in Bootle on Sunday afternoon.

More than 50 police officers separated the group from Robinson’s supporters, who shouted: “Tommy’s going to be your MEP.”

Scuffles broke out as a van, used by Robinson’s European Parliament elections campaign team, arrived in Douglas Place.

Eggs hit the windscreen of the van and a bottle containing a milk liquid was hurled from the crowd.

Robinson, who is standing as an independent candidate for North West England in Thursday’s vote, was escorted by police through a back alley.

He was greeted by cheers from his own supporters while counter-protesters booed and shouted “fascist scum”.

Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, spoke at the rally for around an hour before being escorted away by police.

Bootle MP Peter Dowd, who joined the counter-demonstrators, said Merseyside Police should have called off the visit.

He wrote on Twitter: “Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka fascist Tommy Robinson isn’t wanted in Bootle. Don’t bother coming here.”

Anti-far-right activists have regularly adopted the tactic of throwing milkshakes as a form of protest at candidates – possibly because milk has previously been used as a symbol of the far-right and white supremacy.

Robinson was hit with milkshakes twice in two days in Bury and Warrington earlier this month.

And on Sunday afternoon UKIP MEP candidate Carl Benjamin had a milkshake thrown over him while campaigning in Salisbury – the fourth time in a week.

Additional reporting by PA