Army launches investigation after Tommy Robinson posts video online surrounded by soldiers

The Army has launched an investigation after far-right activist Tommy Robinson posted a video online surrounded by soldiers.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, posted the footage on his Facebook page .

It showed soldiers wearing combat fatigues singing his name at a motorway service station, as he called it an “honour”.

“A moment like this makes it all worth while. Today I met real British heroes (SIC),” he wrote in the Facebook post. 

Robinson also shared a photo of himself surrounded by the troops on Monday.

In a later video he said he ran into the soldiers “by chance” at a motorway service station on the M1, where coaches transporting them had stopped.

The Army said it is aware of the images and was “investigating the circumstances surrounding this”.

“Anyone who is in breach of the Army’s values and standards will face administrative action,” a spokesperson said.

“Far right ideology is completely at odds with the values and ethos of the armed forces. The armed forces have robust measures in place to ensure those exhibiting extremist views are neither tolerated nor permitted to serve.”

Imam Asim Hafiz, an Islamic religious adviser to the armed forces, said that “any form of racism, discrimination or extremism is taken extremely seriously and will be dealt with accordingly”.

He added: “The armed forces remain absolutely committed to welcoming individuals from across all faiths and cultures into its ranks.”

It came months after the Army launched a new recruitment campaign aiming to address concerns about discrimination, which featured a Muslim soldier.

The Rebel Media website, where Robinson formerly worked, has launched a petition calling for the investigation to be stopped and calling it a “political witch-hunt”.

The Muslim Council of Britain said Robinson “does not represent our Armed Forces, however much he tries to claim otherwise”.

A spokesman added: “He will rile against the very real steps taken to make the military more diverse. He will remain silent on the sacrifices Muslims and others made in the two World Wars. We welcome the swift statement by the Army in disassociating itself from the far-right and we hope that safeguards are put in place to ensure that Islamophobia will have no place in our armed forces.”

The furore came as Robinson awaits a new court hearing over allegations he committed contempt of court during a trial in Leeds.

The English Defence League (EDL) founder was jailed in May but freed on appeal over procedural failings. He is currently on bail. 

Protests against his imprisonment have seen violence break out and police officers attacked.

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