Boris Johnson’s latest appointment has links to Tommy Robinson and the far-right

Boris Johnson and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon
Fréa Lockley

On 25 July, Boris Johnson met with his new cabinet and made his first speech in parliament. Since coming to power, Johnson’s installed hard-Brexiteers into key positions. But his non-ministerial appointments are equally worrying.

Now he’s given an important role to a hard-right lobbyist who openly supported the deputy leader of a racist group run by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).

Righter than right

As The Canary reported, Johnson’s already given key roles to many high profile names from the Vote Leave campaign. And on 25 July, Johnson appointed Chloe Westley as his digital campaigns advisor.

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Westley is campaign manager for the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), a right-wing “think tank and lobbying group”. She was also head of social media for Vote Leave. But Westley’s dubious connections don’t stop there.

As news emerged of her appointment, people shared a now deleted tweet that showed Westley openly supporting Anne Marie Waters. In 2015, Yaxley-Lennon made Waters the deputy leader of his new group Pegida UK. This is a “far-right nationalist group that… campaigns against the supposed ‘Islamification of Europe'”. Pegida’s views are so extreme that in 2016 UKIP refused to let Waters stand as a candidate.

In June 2016, the Rotherham Advisor reported that:

Pegida UK’s deputy leader Anne Marie Waters said it plans to make a “silent protest” in the town centre against “Islamic misogyny and anti-white hatred”.

Just weeks later Westley called Waters “a hero”:

After a failed bid to lead UKIP, Waters now runs Sharia Watch UK. As the Institute of Race Relations reported, in one speech, “Waters linked Islam to child abuse”.

Under investigation

This isn’t the only concern about Westley.

In 2018, the Electoral Commission fined Vote Leave £61,000 and reported it to the police for criminal investigation. As whistleblower explained on Twitter, Westley’s activities during the EU referendum campaign are now under police investigation:

Other appointments

Alongside Westley, Johnson’s also appointed Matthew Elliott, the TPA co-founder and current chief executive. In 2009, the Guardian reported:

The same group [TPA] that speaks out against government waste on Newsnight and in the pages of newspapers also runs a campaign against radicalising schoolbooks published by the Palestinian Authority and has formed an alliance with a Slovakian rightwing group…

Sir Anthony Bamford, the JCB tycoon, whose family and company have donated more than £1m to the Conservatives, said he has helped fund the TPA

In 2019 alone, Bamford and JCB made “nine separate donations” to Johnson. Elliott is editor-at-large of BrexitCentral and was chief executive of Vote Leave. Westley is also a contributor of BrexitCentral.

Many people are hugely concerned about Johnson’s latest appointments:

Resist!

In just four days since coming to power, Johnson’s filled the cabinet and government with far-right figures at a terrifying speed. He’s made Theresa May – the architect of the ‘hostile environment‘ and enforcer of austerity – look liberal. Racists Donald Trump and Steve Bannon must be rubbing their hands with glee.

Never have protest and resistance been so urgently needed in the UK.

Featured images via BackBoris2012 Campaign/Flickr and Shayan Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn/Wikimedia

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    1. Boris Johnson’s latest appointment has links to Tommy Robinson and the far-right
      ////
      well Boris by giving the rich party member jobs in Govt so he can keep is eye the cash keep it in his view!, so when he needs more possible or could be or maybe more doggy money he can turn to his new mates in Tory Govt like the people in this article here for cash help. I wonder what interest rate they will charge, Tory Govt plus us taxpayer that will have to pay back any loans Boris get of any of the people in this article a fact! —(if any are given that is voters?)

    2. I would like to see both Labour and the Guardian respond to these questions with rational arguments and evidence. That also applies to this site! Since links cannot be posted here, links to the original sources can be found on Sharia Watch-Key Documents link in the banner.

      1. Are the ECHR right that the nature of sharia is “incompatible with democracy and human rights”?

      2. Are the Council of Europe right in this follow-up report to the ECHR ruling above?

      13. In Islamic family law, men have authority over women. Surah 4:34 states: ‘Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.’ While wives clearly have a duty of fidelity, husbands do not. In Sharia law, adultery is strictly prohibited. Legal doctrine holds that the evidence must take the form of corroborating testimony from four witnesses to prove an individual’s guilt. These witnesses must be men of good repute and good Muslims. The punishment is severe and degrading, namely ‘a hundred lashes’. In the case of rape, which is seldom committed in public before four male witnesses who are good Muslims, punishing the rapist is difficult if not impossible. In practice, this obliges women to be accompanied by men when they go out and is not conducive to their independence. While divorce by mutual consent is enshrined in Islamic law, the application has to come from the wife, since the husband can repudiate his wife at any time. There is also the question of equal rights with regard to divorce arrangements such as custody of children.
      14. For division of an estate among the heirs, distinctions are made according to the sex of the heir. A male heir has a double share, whereas a female heir has a single share. The rights of a surviving wife are half those of a surviving husband.

      15. In criminal cases, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments are authorised by Sharia law, including death by stoning, beheading and hanging, amputation of limbs, and flogging.

      Apostasy results, firstly, in the apostate’s civil death, with the estate passing to the heirs, and, secondly, in the apostate’s execution if he or she does not recant.

      Lastly, non-Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in civil and criminal law, which is discrimination on the ground of religion within the meaning of Article 14 of the Convention.

      http://www.assembly.coe.int/Committee/JUR/ajdoc282016.pdf

      3. Were the UK government wrong to adopt [= take a political position] resolution 2253 in January 2019 which states:

      4. The Assembly considers that the various Islamic declarations on human rights, adopted since the 1980s, while being more religious than legal, fail to reconcile Islam with universal human rights, especially insofar as Sharia is their unique source of reference….
      5. The Assembly is also greatly concerned about the fact that Sharia law – including provisions which are in clear contradiction with the Convention – is applied, either officially or unofficially, in several Council of Europe member States, or parts thereof.

      6. The Assembly recalls that the European Court of Human Rights has already stated in Refah Partisi (The Welfare Party) and others v. Turkey that the institution of Sharia law and a theocratic regime are incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society. The Assembly fully agrees that Sharia rules on, for example, divorce and inheritance proceedings are clearly incompatible with the Convention, in particular its Article 14, which prohibits discrimination on grounds such as sex or religion, and Article 5 of Protocol No. 7 to the Convention (ETS No. 117), which establishes equality between marital partners. Sharia law is also in contradiction with other provisions of the Convention and its additional protocols, including Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 6 (right to a fair trial), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 12 (right to marry), Article 1 of the Protocol to the Convention (ETS No. 9) (protection of property) and Protocols Nos. 6 (ETS No. 114) and 13 (ETS No. 187) abolishing the death penalty.

      7. In this context, the Assembly regrets that despite the recommendation it made in its Resolution 1704 (2010) on freedom of religion and other human rights for non-Muslim minorities in Turkey and for the Muslim minority in Thrace (eastern Greece), asking the Greek authorities to abolish the application of Sharia law in Thrace, this is still not the case. Muftis continue to act in a judicial capacity without proper procedural safeguards. The Assembly denounces in particular the fact that in divorce and inheritance proceedings – two key areas over which muftis have jurisdiction – women are at a distinct disadvantage.

      8. The Assembly is also concerned about the “judicial” activities of “Sharia councils” in the United Kingdom. Although they are not considered part of the British legal system, Sharia councils attempt to provide a form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby members of the Muslim community, sometimes voluntarily, often under considerable social pressure, accept their religious jurisdiction mainly in marital issues and Islamic divorce proceedings but also in matters relating to inheritance and Islamic commercial contracts. The Assembly is concerned that the rulings of the Sharia councils clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases. The Assembly is aware that informal Islamic courts may also exist in other Council of Europe member States.

      http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=25353

      4. Do they think the European public are wrong to harbour concerns about Islamic immigration?

      Trump’s policy has generated a backlash among some of Europe’s leaders. Angela Merkel’s spokesman said the chancellor had ‘explained’ the Geneva Convention to the president in a phone call discussing the order, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan argued that the invitation to the president for a state visit to Britain in 2017 should be withdrawn until the ban is rescinded. Meanwhile, leaders of Europe’s populist right-wing parties, including Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage and Matteo Salvini, have heaped praise on Trump.
      Amid these competing views, where do the public in European countries stand on the specific issue of Muslim immigration? There is evidence to suggest that both Trump and these radical right-wing parties reflect an underlying reservoir of public support.

      Drawing on a unique, new Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from 10 European states, we can throw new light on what people think about migration from mainly Muslim countries. Our results are striking and sobering. They suggest that public opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the US but is fairly widespread.

      https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/what-do-europeans-think-about-muslim-immigration#

      1. Come on, first off the far right and many on the right too, have the same beliefs and views as conservative fundamentalist muslims, dominance of males, lack of concern for sexual assault, women’s place is in the home etc, which makes their critiques of islamic culture and religion, hypocritical at best and extremely shallow. Second, every time majority muslim countries start down the path of more open, secular and progressive societies, they get overthrown, usually by way of a coup, sponsored mainly by conservative christians (oligarchs) here and in the states, who then instal fundamentalist crazies who are pro exploitation of natural resources and crack down harshly on dissent.

        20th century is littered with examples of countries embracing more humane, socialist and progressive policies that put people first and move towards secularism, only to be deposed in a bloody coup, then having to suffer marauding right wing death squads, who murder, rape and torture with impunity. Third while attention is being paid to some of the more primitive beliefs in the koran, similar beliefs in the bible and torah are ignored or overlooked, you have to consider the timeframe these beliefs came out of and how human beings were descending into barbarism due mainly to hierarchy and all the abuse that goes with the few dominating the many.

        Fourthly using donald trumps muslim ban as an example, after all the detail about the suppression of females is a little shortsighted don’t you think. He is a man who has many sexual assault allegations against him, says things only a sex offender would say, “I like to grab em by the pussy”, “She’s probably deeply troubled and therefore great in bed. How come the deeply troubled women, you know, deeply, deeply troubled, they’re always the best in bed?”, about lindsay lohan who was 18 at the time.

        He ran modelling agencies that bought older girls and young women to the states on tourist visas, only when their modelling career’s took off, which few did, would they get work permits. How do you suppose all the other less successful girls and young ladies paid their way? considering he exploited and overcharged them for rent and other living expenses? Hmm. Predatory men, who like to ‘party’ with young often times vulnerable females, away from family and support networks, usually from foreign countries. Not to mention walking in on miss teen usa contestants, while they’re changing clothes, getting a peak and also getting a feel for the ones who get intimidated no doubt.

        https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/donald-trump-model-management-illegal-immigration/

        He is also a man who hates his wife getting any attention at all, can’t remember a time another first lady had such low visibility while her husband served as potus, both democrat and republican. I also find it strange how many on the right and also some in the centre and a few on the left too, become the biggest feminists and advocates for equality, only when talking about how women are treated due to islamic doctrines, yet spend the rest of the time degrading feminism, sjw’s and beta cucks, wanting a return to ‘traditional family values’, with alpha males at the centre, which in the end looks exactly like what they criticise regarding a strict fundamentalist adherence to islamic scripture. This is what it looks like when bigots condemn bigotry.

        This is why the left generally is against scapegoating, it doesn’t move the ball forward, it’s designed purposely to shift frustration away from deep rooted problems onto pre defined groups and individuals. Does this mean that the left agrees with the sexism inherent in islamic culture, hell no, unfortunately monotheistic beliefs all carry virulent strains of sexism, islam included, that slack jawed people then use as an excuse to be repressive. Not all people who are monotheist’s are like this though, that must be stressed.

        However unlike the right and quite a few centrists the left generally have a track record of challenging these views and moving the ball forward. At the moment one of the biggest threats facing us in terms organised societal abuse, doesn’t come from conservative fundamentalist islam or immigration, it comes from conservative fundamentalist american christianity, who fetishise israel and want to turn the clock back on all the social progression that has been achieved at great cost, so they can party like it’s 1799. Which is why these people want you to focus on muslims and other scapegoats and spend lots of money so you do, so you don’t focus on them. All of them need to be challenged regardless of religion, political views, skin colour or creed.

        https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/revealed-trump-linked-us-christian-fundamentalists-pour-millions-of-dark-money-into-europe-boosting-the-far-right/

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