Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ex-EDL chief Tommy Robinson has Twitter account suspended

Stephen Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson Image copyright Fairleys
Image caption Tommy Robinson was jailed for 18 months for mortgage fraud

The Twitter account of English Defence League co-founder and former leader Tommy Robinson has been suspended.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is serving 18 months in prison for a £160,000 mortgage fraud.

A Twitter account in his name with more than 87,000 followers regularly discussed his time inside.

The Ministry of Justice said an inmate cannot publish material if it contravenes prison policy, and this included sending it via a third party.

Last Wednesday, the BBC contacted the Prison Service to ask for its views on the account, which contained details about Robinson's prison number and address.

In response, a spokesman said: "The justice secretary has made it clear that it is totally unacceptable for prisoners to access social networking sites or instruct others to do so on their behalf.

"No prisoner should be in any doubt that if they break the rules they will be stripped of their privileges and may be reported to the police for further action."

'Bloody nose'

Two days after the statement, the Prison Service contacted the BBC in response to follow-up questions to confirm that Robinson's Twitter account had been suspended. No further information was provided.

The spokesman would not confirm if Robinson's prison privileges had been withdrawn as he said it would not discuss individual cases on confidentiality grounds. It is not clear if the police are involved in the matter.

Robinson, 31, from Luton, who stood down from the EDL last year, was jailed at St Albans Crown Court after pleading guilty last November.

The court was told his life was in danger, and he would have to spend his prison time in solitary confinement.

He co-founded the EDL in 2009 after a parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton was disrupted by Islamist protesters, but left the group in October, citing concerns over the "dangers of far-right extremism".

Last month, Robinson's Twitter page described his "black eyes, bloody nose, sore neck" after he was allegedly attacked in HMP Woodhill. The Ministry of Justice said a prisoner had been treated for minor injuries following an incident on 5 February.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites