US media is reporting on the attempts by far-right figure Tommy Robinson to cultivate relationships with Russia. According to a New York Times report, Robinson may be seeking new sources of support in the post-Trump era:
April 23, 2021 Now that Mr. Trump is out of office and the American money is apparently drying up, Mr. Robinson and some other far-right figures are turning to Moscow. Mr. Robinson, who is fighting a potentially costly libel case in London this week, did a media tour of Russia last year but three associates told The New York Times that part of his agenda was kept secret — to seek accounts with Russian banks.“Why else would you visit Russia?” said Andrew Edge, a former senior figure in the English Defence League and another far-right group, Britain First, who said that he discussed moving money to Russian banks with Mr. Robinson and Britain First’s leader, Paul Golding. In many ways, Mr. Robinson is now useful to the Kremlin — which has often encouraged fringe political figures who might destabilize Western democracies — for the same reasons he was welcome in Mr. Trump’s Washington. He preached an angry narrative of Western civilization in decline, of a society ruled by shadowy elites and of the persistent threat of Muslims to the Western world — never mind that he was an agent of chaos in Britain, a key American ally.
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According to a well-researched Wikipedia bio:
Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (born 27 November 1982), better known as Tommy Robinson, is a British far-right and anti-Islam activist. He is the co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League,[and later served as a political advisor to former UKIP leader Gerard Batten. Robinson has been active in far-right politics for many years. He was a member of the neo-fascist and white nationalist British National Party (BNP) from 2004 to 2005.For a short time in 2012, he was joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party (BFP). Robinson led the EDL from 2009 until 8 October 2013. He continued as an activist, and in 2015 became involved with the development of Pegida UK, a now defunct British chapter of the German-based far-right organisation Pegida. From 2017 to 2018, Robinson wrote for and appeared in online videos for Rebel News, a Canadian far-right political website. Robinson’s criminal record includes convictions for violence, financial and immigration frauds, drug possession and public order offences. He has been committed to prison for contempt of court.
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