In Brief

Morrissey defends Tommy Robinson and new far-right party

Singer criticises ‘shocking’ jailing of former EDL leader

Former Smiths frontman Morrissey has defended Tommy Robinson after the far-right activist was jailed for 13 months.

Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found guilty of contempt of court offences for broadcasting “an hour-long video to Facebook outside Leeds Crown Court, making comments that risked the collapse a trial”, reports The Guardian. That trial “still has reporting restrictions placed on it”, the newspaper adds.

His imprisonment led to hundreds of people staging an impromptu demonstration outside Downing Street calling for his release - and now Morrissey has entered the fray. 

In a new interview with music journalist Fiona Dodwell on blogging site Tremr, the singer said: “It’s very obvious that Labour or the Tories do not believe in free speech... I mean, look at the shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson.”

Morrissey also underlined his support for the right-wing party For Britain, set up by former UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters.

The 59-year-old musician - who has previously voiced support for the party because “they have the best approach to animal welfare” - said: “It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally, I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless.

“For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation. I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say, ‘You don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist’. People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”

He continued: “Anne Marie Waters seeks open discussion about all aspects of modern Britain, whereas other parties will not allow diverse opinion. She is like a humane version of Thatcher... if such a concept could be.

“She is absolute leadership, she doesn’t read from a script, she believes in British heritage, freedom of speech, and she wants everyone in the UK to live under the same law.”

Waters stood as an anti-Islamic candidate in the UKIP leadership battle last year. Her proposals included “a ban on the burka, the closure of all sharia councils, and a temporary freeze on all immigration”, according to the BBC.

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