Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson to speak at Durham Union

Uni bigwigs aren’t best pleased about it


Former EDL leader and hate figure Tommy Robinson will speak at Durham Union later this month. 

In what is shaping up to be a controversial week for the Durham Union Society, The Tab can reveal that the co-founder of the right wing group has been invited to speak this term.

The teaser term card seen by The Tab reveals that Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, will be appearing as a speaker at an event entitled “Leaving EDL” this term, for which the date is to be confirmed.

Tommy Robinson on the term card

The full term card, featuring Peter Hitchens and Godfrey Bloom

Following several controversies where the Union used a pictures of ISIS and invited loathed Godfrey Bloom back to speak, they have gone one further and booked the former far-right activist.

Robinson himself appeared to confirm his invitation on Twitter in late August when he posted that he would be appearing at the University at the ‘end of October’.

This tweet, The Tab has learnt, was the first the University claims they were aware of the invitation, accusing the Union of failing to inform them that a controversial speaker would be visiting.

The Union claim they followed their normal procedures.

The tweet was sent out before the University could be informed.

Robinson previously appeared at the Oxford Union after three attempts to get him to do so – the first of which failing because of security concerns and the second because he was sent back to prison.

While there he told the crowd he was unable to speak on certain topics because he was out on prison licence stating that he would “regain [his] freedom of speech on the 22 July 2015,” a freedom he may well exercise on his visit to Durham.

Napat Rungsrithananon, the Michaelmas Union President, declined to comment.