Tommy Robinson believes UKIP can “electrify” the British working class and “cause a political revolution” if they allow him to join and embrace the free speech movement.
Robinson made the comments in a video — his first since his release from prison after his contempt of court sentence was quashed by the Lord Chief Justice — addressed to the members of UKIP’s National Executive Committee (NEC), who decided on Sunday to put the question of whether his joining the party should be considered at its next members’ conference.
“UKIP have the opportunity to electrify this country’s working class. I’ve seen people make comments like, ‘Oh, if Tommy Robinson joined UKIP, they might lose 2,000 members’,” he said.
“You might gain 20,000. You might cause a political revolution in Britain.”
Robinson pointed out how many Brits were looking overseas and cheering on eurosceptic, anti-mass migration parties like the Sweden Democrats, or Italy’s new populist coalition government — while disengaging from Britain’s stagnant, two-party domestic scene.
“It’s about time the British public had a party they can get excited about,” he said.
Robinson took the time to praise the party’s previous leader, Nigel Farage, saying he “deserves the applause for bringing up Brexit”.
He added, however, that the veteran campaigner had in his view not spoken out on Islam — “maybe he didn’t want to drain himself” — and backed current leader Gerard Batten for “speaking up on my behalf; for reaching out to the people of this country; for going and mixing it with the general people in the street in this country”, adding that he was the only politician who motivated him to get out and vote.
“The name ‘Tommy Robinson’ [has] s become a symbol, it’s become far more than me.
“The ‘Free Tommy’ movement was not about me — it was about the British public; it was about people all over the world who feel they’re being oppressed, who feel they’re being dictated to, who feel they don’t have a voice,” he said, challenging the NEC to “take up that voice”.
Mr Batten, for his part, believes Robinson should be allowed to join despite his chequered past, citing his “sheer guts” in opposing the Muslim-dominated child sexual exploitation rings, or grooming gangs, which have been operating in many British cities while authorities declined to investigate for fear of racism accusations.
The NEC has agreed that members should be allowed to debate whether Robinson’s membership should be considered by it at an upcoming conference. The vote is necessary because UKIP has banned former members of the English Defence League — which Robinson founded, and then left to join a counter-extremism think tank — from being members.
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