After the build-up has come the reality: Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has instructed lawyers to proceed with four distinct legal actions. But only two of them are against media outlets, and neither of these, at first glance, appears to make any sense. Still, it enables him to to tell his followers that he is “fighting back”, and that the media is not only lying about him, but lying about them.
“This is just the beginning , the state & the media have got away with their persecution & lies for to long. I’ll make a video update later to make people aware of my plans” he tells, which will being a wry smile to those who Lennon has trampled upon in his campaign of intimidation, which, yes, saw him fetch up on my doorstep in the dead of night twice, but also saw one man in Luton - who worked at a legal firm - lose his job.
Still, let’s see what his lawyers have to say. “It was great to meet you last Tuesday to discuss various matters … I wish to confirm that I have now opened files for the following.
1 Claim regarding Contempt of Court Act being incompatible with the HRA; 2 Claim regarding potential Unlawful Detention and treatment whilst detained at HMP Onley; 3 Libel Claim against the Times - August 2018 article; 4 Libel / Slander (Defamation) claim against CPS / Met Police / Sun / Mail / Metro - January trial of R v Osbourne [sic].” There was more.
“I can confirm that Alison has agreed to draft pre-action letters in respect of 1 and 2. This will limit your costs as Alison has already incurred fees involved in the drafting of the wording for the letter before action, which includes the time spent at Tuesday’s meeting and the background research work she has already undertaken, along with additional research work required prior to drafting the wording”. Sounds like the meter is running.
Whoever is bringing Lennon this news then goes on to say “I will commence work drafting the ‘Letter Before [Action]’”, presumably for one or other of the defamation claims.
So what can be deduced from all that? One, trying to show that the Contempt of Court Act is incompatible with the Human Rights Act appears highly speculative. Two, suggesting that there was something unlawful about Lennon’s stay at HMP Onley may not get very far if it comes down to his word against the Governor and the rest of the prison’s staff.
Then we come to the Times article from August 2018. The problem here is that the only Times article from that month about Lennon appears to be “Just let Tommy Robinson have his say. He might even be right, occasionally” - by none other than Rod Liddle. Have his lawyers got the wrong month? They aren’t suing over Liddle’s praise, surely?
Finally comes the aftermath of the Darren Osborne trial. I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but more than one journalist involved in reporting that event will be irritated, perhaps angry, at the idea that Lennon was given an unfair press. It is highly likely that there will be no shortage of those willing to testify against him. And one name is missing.
None of these proposed actions involved Sky News. Not one. Perhaps there are more to come, but once again, so far, the eventual action does not match the initial claim.
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