'˜Keep Tommy Robinson away from Hearts FC' - Edinburgh MP speaks out
HATE preacher Tommy Robinson should be barred from Sunday's Hearts game with Rangers by police, a leading politician has said.
Lifelong Jambo and Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray spoke out as rumours spread that the far right activist has arrived in the Capital.
It is believed Mr Robinson flew into Edinburgh Airport yesterday afternoon from Gatwick. Police Scotland chose not to comment on his apparent arrival.
“This is a guy who’s deliberately going to a football match to stir up right wing hatred – he’s not going to watch Hearts and Rangers play a good game of Scottish football,” said Mr Murray.
He added: “He’s going for a whole different reason and I feel the police need to step in and do something about it.
“This individual is hellbent on going to a Hearts-Rangers match to cause trouble. In that instance, the police have a duty to protect the public.
“They need to make sure he gets nowhere near the football match, let alone inside.”
The English Defence League co-founder vowed to come to a game after a group posed for a photo wearing masks of his face in front in front of a flag commemorating McCrae’s Battalion. Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, posted a mocked-up photo online of himself wearing a Hearts strip with the caption “coming soon.”
Mr Murray said he feels the onus is on the police to prevent Mr Robinson from attending the match on Sunday, rather than Hearts.
“I fully understand the club’s position,” he added. “They can’t pick and choose who goes to their football match.
“People have to ask why this individual wants to attend Hearts-Rangers. It’s to incite racial and right-wing hatred and I think in that instance, the police should step in.”
And Mr Murray laid down a stark warning for senior officers. “If there’s any trouble at all inside or outside the ground on Sunday caused by his attendance, then police should be held to account.”
Hundreds of anti-fascist campaigners are now expected at Sunday’s game handing fans leaflets opposing Mr Robinson’s attendance.
“I think it’s very clear from all quarters – Hearts fans, faith groups and community groups – that he’s not welcome in Scotland,” said John McFadden, chair of Unite Against Fascism Scotland.
Steve West of Stand Up to Racism Edinburgh feared Mr Robinson’s presence could “embolden” those planning racist attacks.
He added: “What he’s trying to do is make racist ideas and particularly anti-Muslim ideas respectable – it’s abhorrent.”