So after Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, summoned his faithful followers to Media City yesterday, only for them to realise he’d loused up and his attack on BBC Panorama wasn’t ready, the combination of excuses and bluster continued apace. Whether his documentary PanoDrama is ready or not is now being overtaken by the realisation that it could land him in legal hot water.
At first, it seemed that it was just about delays. Yesterday afternoon Lennon defiantly told “Full HD expose will be uploaded tonight on my facebook and youtube channel”, which is effectively admitting it wasn’t worth his supporters turning up in the first place. But the deadline passed, and once more there was no PanoDrama. Eventually, after midnight, came “#Panodrama will be uploaded to my facebook page just after lunch time today”.
Why so? Well, before the midnight hour, he had let slip “Panodrama will go live tomorrow lunch time . We have a few small edits to make”. Note that “lunch time” became “just after lunch time” between late night and early morning. His assertion that it would be ready for noon today may be one of his most unwise claims yet.
The reasons for this are straightforward, and concern the potential for Lennon’s attack documentary to generate defamation actions from several of its targets, not least what I’m reliably informed is a claim of sexual assault made by one of Lennon’s pals.
On top of that is the rumour that BBC lawyers are keeping close watch on Lennon’s claims with a view to hitting him with a defamation suit if and when he veers across the dishonesty line with his claims against the Corporation.
Then there is the explicit warning made only this morning by Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate. Lowles does not mince his words, and Lennon would be wise to heed them. “Stephen Lennon should be under no illusion about @hopenothate determination to hold him to account for his lies. He would be wise to remember that in 2016 we successfully sued Nigel Farage for calling us violent and anti-democratic. Lennon has said far worse”.
He certainly has. And there was more. “We warned him that we would sue before the programme. He not only ignored that warning but did not even carry our denial in his nonsense programme … By the time we finish with him, the real story of #Panodrama will be how ‘Tommy Robinson’ is the purveyor of fake news, lies and false moral outrage”.
Moreover, former HnH man Dan Hodges - yes, the Mail on Sunday pundit - has taken an interest, noting “So apparently Tommy Robinson and his supporters have just put up a giant image of me on a screen outside the BBC. I seem to have been singled out as one of the enemies of their movement”. If HnH sue Lennon, will Hodges join the action?
Stephen Lennon already faces legal action after his campaign against a young Syrian refugee and his family over an incident in Huddersfield. If he oversteps the line with his PanoDrama documentary - one wonders if he has had it legalled first, you know, like those real media organisations he keep slagging off - he will be toast.
The endgame may be approaching for Stephen Lennon. Just rejoice at that news.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at