Wigan split over planned visit of hard-right activist Tommy Robinson
Controversial hard-right activist Tommy Robinson is set to visit Wigan next week.
Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, will be canvassing in Norley Hall on Monday evening (May 13) as part of his campaign to becoming an MEP for the north west.
The former English Defence League leader will be arriving with his team at around 7pm.
Mr Robinson has split opinion during visits to other locations on the campaign trail, having been coated in milkshake on a recent visit to Warrington while one Wigan opponent described him today as a “middle class lout” who is not welcome in the borough.
And reporting the news of his visit online resulted in people of different political views hurling abuse at each other.
But supporter Ian Adamczyk, who will be out leafleting ahead of the Robinson visit, said: “We live in a free country in a free society with freedom of speech. Surely anyone should be able to do these things.
“I have had the privilege of interviewing him two or three times. I have spent a lot of time with him. You see a different side to him than the one portrayed in the media. As far as I’m concerned, anyone should be able to stand in an election.
“We should be able to sit down and have a discussion and respect each other. We shouldn’t be attacking each other, throwing milkshakes at each other just because we have different beliefs."
Although Mr Robinson clearly has supporters in the borough, there are those vehemently opposed too.
Wigan Trades Council delegate Barry Conway, said: “He is no friend of the working class or of trade unions and has had nothing to say about austerity, food banks or anything else that affects working people. He is trying to win gullible people to a policy that he is not explicit about but which is a policy of racism and exploitation of the working class.
“People in the town should not be fooled into voting for someone who is little more than a dangerous middle class lout with a grand desire for respectability. He’s not wanted here and not needed here.”
Full details of the visit have not yet been confirmed.