In Brief

Why Tommy Robinson is facing libel action

Far-right activist claimed Syrian teenager attacked at school had bullied young girls

Tommy Robinson is being threatened with a libel lawsuit by lawyers representing a Syrian boy who was filmed being attacked by other schoolboys.

In December, footage surfaced online of the 15-year-old Syrian, known only as Jamal, being “pushed to the ground at his Huddersfield school and having water poured on his face”, The Guardian reports.

The attack “attracted widespread condemnation, including from Theresa May”, the newspaper adds.

But Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, used his social media accounts to accuse the teenager of “violently attacking” young girls, claiming “lots of Muslim gangs are beating up white English kids” in Britain.

The anti-Islam activist reposted a screenshot of a message on his Facebook page from a mother claiming her daughter had been bullied. The mother of the girl subsequently posted a message denying that Jamal was involved in the assault.

The boy’s family are now suing Robinson for defamation, with lawyers taking the “unusual step of hand-delivering the letter” after the former English Defence League leader “failed to respond to correspondence”, reports the Daily Mail.

Jamal’s solicitor, Tasnime Akunjee, said: “Our letter gives him two weeks to respond - hopefully, he’ll get lawyers to respond on his behalf. If we get no response or an unacceptable response then we are instructed to issue proceedings which is to take the matter to court in two weeks’ time.”

On a page raising money for the legal action, lawyer Abdulnaser Youssef wrote that the allegations made against Jamal had led to threats that forced him and his family to move.

“As a result of Lennon’s false remarks and their wide online circulation, Jamal became the focus of countless messages of hate and threats from the extreme rightwing,” Akunjee said.

“The police informed Jamal that there was an increased risk to the safety of he and his family; as a result, he and his family were forced to relocate.”

Recommended

The top 20 universities in the UK
uni-of-cambridge.jpg
In Brief

The top 20 universities in the UK

Tech tiffs, shipping shortages and mammoth science projects
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes
Podcast

Tech tiffs, shipping shortages and mammoth science projects

Prince Andrew accused of ‘playing hide and seek’ to avoid sex assault lawsuit
Prince Andrew
The latest on . . .

Prince Andrew accused of ‘playing hide and seek’ to avoid sex assault lawsuit

Gove’s task to put ‘meat on the bones’ of ‘levelling-up’ agenda
Michael Gove
Behind the scenes

Gove’s task to put ‘meat on the bones’ of ‘levelling-up’ agenda

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021
Wildfire in Greece
In pictures

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner