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British residents react at the "irony" of far-right anti-immigration activist moving family to Marbella

Tommy Robinson.
Tommy Robinson. / SUR file photo
  • High profile co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson said he was leaving the UK after claiming his wife had been the victim of an arson attack

A British far-right activist has reportedly moved to Marbella with his family.

Tommy Robinson is said to have fled the UK after an arson attack on his family home.

The 37-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is known for his strong anti-Islamic and anti-immigration views.

The surprise move abroad was revealed in a video he posted on Russian social media platform VK last Monday, following bans from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In the video Robinson can be seen at the upmarket Manolo Santana Rackets Club in Nueva Andalucía, where he was playing a game of padel.

Speaking about the alleged arson, he said: "It was targeted at my wife's property.

"At that point we left the country straight away and I'm looking at relocating my family, which is pretty hard to do, especially with Covid - I couldn't even get a hotel.

"Obviously my wife has had enough of everything - someone gave her somewhere to stay, so we left the country, and I was due to be flying back for the demonstration, but now with this 14-day quarantine, if I fly back I probably won't get back out and my kids are out here."

Robinson added that he had found new schools for his daughters and is in the process of finding a "permanent relocation" for them.

He explained: "I need my family to be away because they are not safe basically."

Robinson claimed the arson took place following his comments denouncing the Black Lives Matter protest.

Reactions

His move abroad has since been widely mocked online as he is a strong Brexit and anti-immigration supporter.

Louise Brace, 49, who lives in Mijas and runs a Marketing and Accommodation business, www.rentaltonic.com, said: "I find it kind of ironic that someone who is so opposed to immigration in the UK should decide that a move to Spain wouldn't also be considered immigration. But hey, Brits are expats and everyone else immigrants, right? If he's serious about living here (hopefully not) then he'll need to practise what he preaches and learn Spanish, organise his residency, and pay Spanish taxes, where they're due."

Mary Page, British expat and president of PSOE Estepona, said: "Well, as this area is often called the Costa del Crime, it's not surprising that this former jailbird has ended up here. You couldn't make it up: immigrant basher Tommy is now an immigrant. Let's hope he learns Spanish quickly, he has expressed strong views about immigrants not learning their new language. The man is a con man and a racist thug who has taken advantage of the freedom of movement, he would deny to others."

Meanwhile Giles Brown, 52, broadcaster and blogger at planetmarbella.com, told SUR in English: "As soon as I heard that Tommy Robinson was coming to Spain, there was a crushing inevitability that he would end up on the coast. Despite the outcry among many residents about his visit, I hope that Tommy uses this opportunity to see at first hand the magical mix of cultures and nationalities that live together on the Costa, and that he realises the error of his own policies. But I doubt it."