Tommy Robinson blames ‘government interference’ for election defeat

Tommy Robinson at the election count. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Tommy Robinson at the election count. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Tommy Robinson has blamed government 'interference' on social media for his failure to secure a seat in the European elections.

The independent candidate polled 2.2% of the overall vote in the North West as the Brexit Party gained the largest share with 31.2%.

He said he was unable to fight a fair campaign because he was taken off various social media platforms.

Speaking on arrival at the count in Manchester, he said: "Trump won his campaign on social media. Brexit was won on social media. I'm banned from social media.

"So my ability to fight a fair campaign is gone, orchestrated and organised by the government.

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"I feel like I have been fighting with my hands tied behind my back.

"I think on my Facebook (page) 59 million watched my videos in four weeks ... if I still had that ability now I would have walked this election.

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"This has proved you cannot have a fair campaign when the establishment and the Government interfere and remove any ability you have to talk to the public.

"My supporters are not even allowed to mention my name or they get deleted, it's dark."

The former leader of the English Defence League, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, added: "I am just happy if I got non-voters to vote. I'm happy if I politicised people from working class communities.

"I think this whole election is about Brexit so Nigel Farage can absolutely smash it but I would be excited about that if the Brexit Party would talk about the issues that I feel affect most of us in working class communities. They are just another politically correct party unfortunately but they are great on the European Union."

Robinson stayed for just short of an hour at the count venue at Manchester Central as he conceded defeat before the first council area result was officially declared.

Before leaving, he told his followers on the Telegram private messaging app: "Disappointed to say the least. They (the votes) are not in but they are in ... at the same time what do you expect? Going through the votes we have certainly not got a place as a MEP but I want to say a special thank you to every single person who supported."

He vowed to "carry on fighting" in what he said would be a "long fight".

The Brexit Party won three seats, Labour and the Lib Dems claimed two each and the Green Party secured one seat in the region.

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