02:55 GMT +317 December 2018
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    Then UKIP (UK Independence Party) Brexit spokesman and Member of the European Parliament for London (MEP), Gerard Batten, addresses members of the media at the party's by-election campaign headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on February 13, 2017.

    'Why Can't People Come Out of Prison, Resume Lives?' UKIP Chief Defends Robinson

    © AFP 2018 / Oli Scarff
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    MEP and UK Independence Party leader Gerard Batten was quizzed on the recent appointment of a right-wing British activist Tommy Robinson to the role of a special adviser.

    When pointed out to him during a televised interview that Robinson went to prison several times, Gerard Batten said that his new adviser had "walked away from EDL [English Defence League] a long time ago."

    "Concerning people with real convictions, you have got four of them sitting in the House of Lords who make laws over us. People have criminal convictions, then they come out and resume their lives," he added.

    The leader of UKIP then asked:

    "Are we saying that people can't do something once they have served their sentence?"

    English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson was appointed by Batten as "special personal advisor on rape gangs and prison reform" — the subjects in which Gerard said Robinson had "a great deal of knowledge."

    UKIP rules prohibit members of the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) and similar organisations to become party members. Robinson's party membership has been deferred until March 29, when Britain is meant to leave the European Union. 

    READ MORE: Tommy Robinson Appointed Adviser to UKIP Leader on Grooming Gangs, Prisons

    On Wednesday, Robinson said a post he shared on his Facebook page, followed by nearly a million of users:

    "Gerard batten is the only politician I've ever listened to who has made me want to vote."

    Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, outraged by Robinson's appointment, has quit the party on Tuesday, criticising the party's "obsession" with Islam. 

    READ MORE: 'Farage is as Irrelevant as UKIP Now' — Political Commentator

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    UKIP, Gerard Batten, Tommy Robinson, United Kingdom
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