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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Paypal stops processing payments to UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson

The right-wing demagogue has reportedly been told he breached the service’s terms and conditions

PayPal confirmed to The National that it had stopped handling payments for the far-right leader. EPA
PayPal confirmed to The National that it had stopped handling payments for the far-right leader. EPA

Payments giant Paypal has told far-right leader Tommy Robinson that he will no longer be able to use its service.

Mr Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has reportedly been told he breached the company’s terms and conditions, said the BBC.

PayPal said it wouldn’t comment on individual customers, but confirmed the BBC’s report. A spokesperson stated:

“We carefully review accounts to ensure our services are used in line with our long-standing Acceptable Use Policy, and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”

“We do not take decisions like these lightly, and we work hard to be rigorous and fair-minded when reviewing PayPal accounts.”

An online petition asking Paypal to stop handling payments to Yaxley-Lennon had reached 64,000 signatures at the time Paypal’s decision was reported, pointing to significant pressure from the UK public to end its facilitation of donations to his cause.

The ban comes shortly after his ex-assistant revealed that Mr Yaxley-Lennon had garnered a “massive payday” from the publicity surrounding his imprisonment for contempt of court earlier this year.

The case, and his subsequent release on bail pending consideration by the UK’s Attorney General, gained him notoriety in far-right circles in the US and Europe and brought in hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations, many via PayPal.

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Read more:

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How to contain the spread of extremism in modern Europe

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The donations have been reflected in some plush purchases. He recently moved into a £950,000 six-bedroom house in the UK’s privileged home counties area.

Mr Yaxley-Lennon isn’t the only far-right figure to be blocked from using the service. Previously PayPal has banned InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and social network Gab for breaching its terms of service.

The founder of the far-right English Defence League was also banned from social network Twitter back in March, sparking speculation that his Facebook account, which has almost one million followers, would soon be shut down. However, this has not yet some to pass.