Adam Forrest, Independent, September 13, 2019
Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been released from prison two months after he was jailed for contempt of court.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, emerged from the Belmarsh maximum security facility with a beard and bushy hair.
He said: “I know I look a mess … first stop hairdressers.”
Robinson added: “I look like a little cowardly convert … Salaam-Alaikum,” using the Arabic for “peace be unto you”.
The anti-Islamic agitator was jailed over a video he live-streamed on Facebook featuring defendants in a criminal trial – in breach of a court reporting ban.
Robinson again claimed he should not have gone to prison in a video interview with far-right YouTube channel Rebel Media outside the prison on Friday morning.
During his stint at Belmarsh, he was visited by supporters such as far-right provocateur Katie Hopkins and Brexit Party founder Catherine Blaiklock, forced to resign from the party over anti-Islam comments.
While in jail the operators of his official Telegram channel “Tommy Robinson News” endorsed Boris Johnson and called for all supporters to “back Boris”.
“It is refreshing to actually see someone have a pair and stand up for British democracy,” a message read.
His supporters also held rallies demanding his release. A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after a police medic was assaulted during a violent “Free Tommy” protest in central London in early August.
The 36-year-old from Luton had filmed himself confronting men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls during a video streamed live on Facebook outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.
Two High Court judges decided Robinson’s conduct had amounted to a “serious contempt” and involved “reckless disobedience” of an important court order which was imposed to protect a series of three linked trials.
Robinson was later told he would have to serve nine-and-a-half weeks in prison.
[Editor’s Note: A brief video of the interview with Rebel Media is available at the original story.]