United Kingdom, London: Far-right activist Tommy Robinson described himself as a ‘disaster with paperwork’ amid questioning his finances in the High Court.
He splashed £100,000 on gambling before declaring bankruptcy, he claimed.
Robinson, who founded the English Defence Leage (EDL), told the court he owed £160,000 to HM Revenue and Customs but later said this was an estimate.
The court appearance came after Robinson failed to pay up £43,293 in legal costs.
Answering questions, he said that in two years before declaring bankruptcy, he spent around £100,000 on gambling, mainly in casinos.
‘I sold a property, received the money and I spent it,’ he said.
When asked if his numbers were ‘accurate,’ Robinson replied: ‘I’ve always been a disaster with paperwork and finance from day dot.’
After questions about his tax returns, Robinson told the High Court that he had not contacted his accountant or HMRC before Thursday’s hearing.
He was also quizzed over a claim in his book Enemy Of The State that when the EDL was founded in 2009, there were seven properties in his or his then-wife’s name.
Robinson said: ‘I had a ghost-writer that helped me with the book. I like to give the impression that I am a successful man even when I am not.’
He later appeared to accept that there were not seven properties, shrugging when asked if the book was untrue and saying he had written the book years ago.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sued by Jamal Hijazi after the 15-year-old was assaulted at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield in October 2018.
Following Mr Hijazi’s successful libel claim, Justice Nicklin ordered Robinson to pay him damages of £100,000 and his legal costs.
The legal costs were thought to be around £500,000. After failing to attend the March hearing, Robinson will have to return to court again in August to decide whether he had committed a contempt of court.
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