The founder of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson will have to pay £100,000 to a Syrian migrant he accused of “attacking young English girls in his school” after losing a libel case.
After the ruling, Robinson shared a video on Telegram, asking his followers for money. “Can anyone lend me a few quid?” The video was titled “I’m a bit broke right now”.
Tommy, (real name: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) will also have to pay Jamal Hijazi’s legal costs after failing to substantiate his claims in court.
Tommy Robinson has lost a libel case brought against him by Syrian schoolboy Jamal Hijazi.
He must pay £100,000 in damages to the West Yorkshire teenager, who was slurred after he was filmed being the victim of a playground attack.
— Tristan Kirk (@kirkkorner) July 22, 2021
Jamal Hijazi is a Syrian migrant who came to the UK to flee the war in Syria. In October 2018, when Hijazi was only 15 years old, a video went viral which showed Hijazi being thrown to the ground by another student who also poured a bottle of water on his face.
The video initiated a conversation about how migrants were bullied in the UK after escaping war in their home countries however, Tommy Robinson made an unsubstantiated claim that Hijazi was “not innocent and he violently attacks English girls in his school.”
According to Justice Nicklin, Robinson’s language was “calculated to inflame the situation.”
Sorry Tommy Robinson having to pay a Syrian refugee £100,000 is HILARIOUS. And then to see white supremacists and gammons try to crowdfund for him, therefore paying a Syrian refugee themselves? Hahahaha.
— Shahmir Sanni (@shahmiruk) July 22, 2021
The honourable Justice further commented: “As was entirely predictable, the claimant then became the target of abuse, which ultimately led to him and his family having to leave their home, and the claimant to have to abandon his education”.
“The defendant is responsible for this harm, some of the scars of which – particularly the impact on the claimant’s education – are likely to last for many years, if not a lifetime.”
Now he’s lost his libel case, people are joking ‘Tommy Robinson’ will be on GBNews trying to raise money. Sounds like a joke, until you realise Farage’s big backer Steve Bannon called Yaxley-Lennon “the backbone of Britain”.
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) July 22, 2021
The Hijazi family’s legal counsel, Catrin Evans QC held that Robinson’s words had “turned Jamal into the aggressor, and the bully into a righteous white knight”. She said Robinson entered the conversation only to cater to his “anti-Muslim” agenda.
The Hijazi family also revealed that they had received death threats and thus had to relocate due to Robinson’s comments.
In the court, Robinson claimed that he was acting as an independent journalist and that his comments were substantially true, basing them on secretly recording conversations with staff from Hijazi’s school.
Deeply gratifying to see Tommy Robinson has lost a libel case for libelling a Syrian schoolboy. He now has to pay £100,000 in damages and what are thought to be around £500,000 in costs. Couldn’t happen to a nicer chap.
— Matthew Stadlen (@MatthewStadlen) July 22, 2021
Justice Nicklin rejected Robinson’s arguments, saying that Robinson “has failed.. his evidence fell woefully short.”
Hamza Azhar Salam is an investigative reporter, a digital marketing strategist and the founder of Democrats Voice.