The recent case of Tommy Robinson, the jailed British right-wing activist and former leader of the English Defense League has reportedly been raised by a representative of US President Donald Trump with Britain's ambassador to the United States following alleged lobbying by Breitbart.com, according to Reuters, citing a British government source and pro-Robinson campaigner.
A government source is reported to have said that former US Senator Sam Brownback, Donald Trump's Ambassador for International Religious Freedom told Sir Kim Darroch, British Ambassador to the US that "people" at Breitbart had contacted him about Tommy Robinson's imprisonment.
Sam Brownback, Trump’s Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, told British envoy Sir Kim Darroch at a meeting in June that Breitbart “people” had contacted him about Robinson’s imprisonmenthttps://t.co/wj4VROImDj— They Are Screwing Us (@DamnedLiberal) July 16, 2018
"Brownback told Darroch that British authorities should be aware that the website was making noise about the case, the source said." The Reuters article says, adding that three pro-Robinson campaigners said there were "multiple direct contacts between Brownback, his aides, people connected to Breitbart.com and other groups protesting Robinson's imprisonment."
The alleged lobbying by Breitbart comes amid claims Brownback warned the UK Ambassador to treat Tommy Robinson's case "sympathetically." Neither the UK or US Ambassadors have responded to the claims, the U.S State Department spokesperson told Reuters the sources information is "completely false" but didn't provide the news agency with any further details.
A US State Department spokesman stated that the agency "did not give readouts of private diplomatic discussions."
"We refute as completely false the reports which wrongly assert that Ambassador Brownback urged the UK government to act on this issue or threatened repercussions by the U.S. government in any way." The spokesman for the US State Department added in a statement to Reuters.
Asked State Dept about this. An official gave me the same statement given to Reuters: "We don’t typically discuss private diplomatic discussions, but in this case, the characterizations of Ambassador Brownback’s meeting with Mr. Sir Kim Darroch are completely false."— Akbar Shahid Ahmed (@AkbarSAhmed) July 14, 2018
Robinson was jailed for 13 months in May for breaking contempt of court laws with a Facebook Live video filmed outside Leeds Crown Court during a trial.
The former leader of the EDL, a group which organized violent anti-Islamic and anti-immigration demonstrations had attempted to film defendants entering the court and discussed the case on the social media channel. Robinson admitted committing contempt of court by publishing information that could prejudice an ongoing trial via his Facebook page.
His supporters protest over his imprisonment and initial reporting restrictions, claiming the "establishment" was silencing free speech. Robinson regards himself as a journalist and anti-Islamic extremism campaigner.
Twelve people were arrested after protesters descended on Whitehall, London during a recent rally of support for Robinson and Donald Trump. Violent clashes broke out while police officers tried to keep the demonstration under control.
Speakers including Baron Pearson a member of the House of Lords, U.S. Congressman Louis Gosar and a former Breitbart London editor took to a stage to voice their support for Robinson and Donald Trump following a protest the previous day where 250,000 marched in opposition to the U.S. President.