EDL founder and self-styled ‘journalist’ Tommy Robinson has found himself under scrutiny from supporters who accuse him of misusing donations, The Independent reports.
The news arrives after it emerged that Robinson has declared himself bankrupt even though he’d received hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations and funding.
According to financial documents, Robinson—whose real name is Stephen Lennon—received almost £425,000 in donations from supporters, but former employees have since raised concerns about how the money has been spent, including allegations that Robinson spent donations on cocaine, sex workers and personal debts.
One former employee, a video producer called Caolan Robertson who has since cut ties with Robinson, claims that money he was promised by Robinson for equipment “never materialised”. He also said he personally saw Robinson transfer large sums of money from a crowdfunding page into a business account.
Robertson claimed that when he saw £33,000 being withdrawn, he challenged Robinson about how the money would be spent. Robinson allegedly said he had “mates I’ve got to pay back” for “seshes”.
“We realised that he was withdrawing huge amounts of [donations] in cash from a business bank account, and just giving it to his friends who were selling him coke and who he owed for nights out,” Roberston added. “That wasn’t what we signed up for when we told our supporters that we needed it for kit, expenses, transport, security and staff costs.”
Robertson added that he remembers Robinson “going to a cashpoint and withdrawing £500 and being like ‘that’s for later’ and he just carried on doing it. It went to coke habits, prostitutes, and his supporters thought it was going to kids and security and all that stuff.”
Tommy Robinson denied the claims, telling The Independent that Robertson had no access to account information and that his claims were pure speculation. “I have the utmost respect for my supporters and have never behaved in a dishonest way towards them,” he said. “I confirm that I do not use cocaine and prostitutes. I do wear designer clothes and always have done. I had other sources of income including from building and property development and tanning shops.”
He adds that he no longer has “any assets or income,” and that “any purchases of personal items, such as designer clothing, have been paid for personally.”