Steve Bannon calls for Tommy Robinson to be released from prison

Ex-Trump strategist tells LBC radio he doesn’t think jailed far-right leader is ‘a bad guy’

Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Donald Trump, has defended the jailed far-right leader Tommy Robinson, saying that he didn’t think he was “a bad guy” and that “he’s got to be released from prison”.

Bannon’s remarks came during an interview with LBC radio’s political editor, Theo Usherwood.

In response to Bannon’s comments about Robinson, Usherwood said: “But he broke the law!” To which Bannon replied: “A lot of people would say that law is very restrictive.”

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court after “breaching the peace” during a grooming trial. The English Defence League founder had broadcast an hour-long video on Facebook of men entering Leeds crown court. In the video he made comments that risked causing a trial to collapse.

The politician-turned-presenter Nigel Farage was also there during the LBC interview and attempted to move the conversation along. He ended the row by saying: “I take the view as well that Tommy broke the law.”

Bannon to me off-air: "Fuck you. Don't you fucking say you're calling me out. You fucking liberal elite. Tommy Robinson is the backbone of this country."

— Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) July 15, 2018

After the interview, Usherwood claimed on Twitter that Bannon said to him off-air: “Fuck you. Don’t you fucking say you’re calling me out. You fucking liberal elite. Tommy Robinson is the backbone of this country.”

In the same interview, Bannon told listeners they were “going to have to fight to take your country back”.

The former strategist to the US president told Farage: “If I was in middle England and said this wasn’t what I voted for I would rise up and make sure the guys in parliament knew it.”

He added: “Whether it’s Italy, France, England, or the United States, if we quit, they’re going to be in control.”

When asked whether it was a call to arms, he said: “Absolutely.”

In an interview in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, Bannon said now was the time for Boris Johnson to challenge Theresa May for her job.

His comments came after Trump directly criticised May’s Brexit strategy and heaped praise on Johnson in an interview with the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper.

Bannon was Trump’s 2016 campaign chair and chief White House strategist before leaving the administration last August. His relationship with Trump was adversely affected by the publication of a book, for which Bannon was a major source, about the Trump White House by the author Michael Wolff. Since then Bannon has positioned himself again as a leading voice on the US far right.


Sarah Marsh

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Britain's Trumpocracy: who are the president's biggest cheerleaders?
Donald Trump’s UK arrival is expected to be met by protest but some citizens see him as an ally

Alexandra Topping

11, Jul, 2018 @4:58 PM

Article image
Steve Bannon praises Boris Johnson and Tommy Robinson
Former Trump adviser says MP has ‘nothing to apologise for’ after burqa remarks

Dan Sabbagh

12, Aug, 2018 @11:53 AM

Article image
Tommy Robinson permanently banned by Twitter
Former English Defence League leader banned for violating rules governing ‘hateful conduct’

Kevin Rawlinson

28, Mar, 2018 @6:20 PM

Article image
Amazon refuses to stop selling Tommy Robinson merchandise
Online retailer continues to sell merchandise including T-shirts with #freeTommy logo

Ben Quinn

24, Sep, 2019 @2:42 PM

Article image
We need to unite against the rising threat of racism and fascism in the UK | Letter
Letter: Original founders of Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism outline steps to defend multiracial and diverse society


15, Aug, 2018 @4:48 PM

Article image
Tommy Robinson to remain in jail as judges consider appeal
Court of appeal reserves decision over EDL founder’s claim sentence is excessive

Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent

18, Jul, 2018 @2:07 PM

Article image
Trump diplomat lobbied UK over Tommy Robinson – report
Sam Brownback allegedly raised concerns about the jailing of the far-right activist

David Smith in London

14, Jul, 2018 @3:13 PM

Article image
Tommy Robinson released from jail after nine weeks
Far-right activist was reportedly held in isolation for his own protection in Belmarsh

Mattha Busby

13, Sep, 2019 @10:41 AM

Article image
Union leader attacked after counter-protest to Tommy Robinson rally
RMT’s Steve Hedley left bloodied after ‘unprovoked’ incident at Westminster Arms pub

Chris Johnston and agencies

14, Jul, 2018 @10:42 PM

Article image
The far right is at its strongest since the 1930s, and the media is helping | Owen Jones
Prominent far-right figures being given airtime on the BBC, LBC and ITV are not being properly challenged on their views, says Guardian columnist Owen Jones

Owen Jones

03, Aug, 2018 @10:38 AM