UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson ordered to pay Syrian boy £100,000

UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson ordered to pay Syrian boy £100,000
1 min read
22 July, 2021
British courts on Thursday ordered former far-right leader Tommy Robinson to pay a Syrian boy hundreds of thousands for libelling the child.
Robinson is the founder of the far-right English Defence League [Getty]

Judges ordered British far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson to pay £100,000 to a Syrian boy after ruling on Thursday that he had libelled the child.

Jamal Hijazi was attacked in the playground at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, northern England, in 2018.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, claimed in two Facebook videos that Hijazi was himself a perpetrator of violence.

Robinson, who represented himself, maintained his comments were broadly true, saying he had "uncovered dozens of accounts of aggressive, abusive and deceitful behaviour" by Hijazi.

But High Court judge Matthew Nicklin said Robinson had failed to prove his allegations and ruled in Hijazi's favour, granting him £100,000 ($137,000, 116,000 euros) in damages.

Catrin Evans, Hijazi's lawyer, said the comments led to her client receiving death threats.

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Another member of Hijazi's legal team welcomed the decision as a vindication. 

"It took great courage for our client, Jamal Hijazi, to pursue his libel action against such a prominent far-right and anti-Islam activist as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon," said Francesca Flood.

"We are delighted that Jamal has been entirely vindicated."

Nicklin said Hijazi suffered "particularly severe" consequences from the videos.

"The defendant's allegations against the claimant were very serious and were published widely," he said.