Far-right activist Tommy Robinson is being sued for around Â£2million by his creditors after he declared bankruptcy in a High Court libel suit.
English Defense League founder, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, declared himself bankrupt in a High Court trial last year in which he was ordered to pay Â£100,000 damages for defamation to a Syrian schoolboy whom he had defamed online.
In March, Robinson will be officially discharged from bankruptcy, which means he will no longer have to pay any debts covered by the filing, including six-figure legal fees.
It emerged on Thursday that creditors have asked an independent insolvency expert to investigate whether Robinson’s claim is genuine or whether he is “hiding” assets to avoid paying his debts.
Campaign group Hope Not Hate said it believed Robinson had access to assets worth up to around Â£3million through property acquisitions, investments, donations and sales of books. The group said it would provide a dossier of evidence to the new investigation.
The Guardian attempted to reach Robinson for comment.
Nick Lowles, the chief executive of Hope Not Hate, said: ‘It is totally unfair that, when his victim’s life has been turned upside down, Tommy Robinson is carrying on with his life as before.
Robinson declared bankruptcy in March last year in a High Court libel suit brought by Jamal Hijazi, a Syrian schoolboy who was filmed being attacked at school.
Shortly after video of the incident went viral, Robinson falsely claimed in Facebook videos viewed by nearly a million people that Hijazi was “not innocent and violently going after young English girls in her school”.
The judge, Justice Nicklin, said the consequences of Robinson’s lies had been “particularly severe” for Hijazi and that the scars “would likely last for many years, if not a lifetime”.
He ordered Robinson to pay Hijazi Â£100,000 in damages plus his legal costs, although the teenager has yet to see a penny due to Robinson’s bankruptcy petition.
Hope Not Hate said it was raise funds to build a case for investigators into Robinson’s finances. Lowles said: “Tommy Robinson needs to understand that there are real consequences to his hatred. It’s time to make him pay and make sure his victims get proper justice.
The insolvency investigator has a number of powers, including access to Robinson’s banking and business records, hearing witnesses under oath and – if necessary – asking the court to obtain search and arrest warrants.
The Guardian previously revealed how Robinson had an international network of wealthy donors and received donations and other support from around the world.
Such was the influence of Robinson’s supporters that they asked advisers to former Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz for legal advice on getting an extended visa for “someone who needs protection.” “.