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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Tommy Robinson admits spreading 'fake news' about Syrian refugee child

The far-right activist told followers he was "completely had" by the woman who sent him the messages

Anti-Muslim extremist Tommy Robinson has intervened in a row over the bullying of a Syrian refugee at an English school. AFP
Anti-Muslim extremist Tommy Robinson has intervened in a row over the bullying of a Syrian refugee at an English school. AFP

Far-right leader Tommy Robinson has admitted spreading false rumours about a 15-year old refugee bullied at a British school.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, which has almost a million followers, Mr Robinson said he had been misled by a woman who sent him a story about her 'son', who Mr Robinson has claimed was set upon by the boy seen being bullied in a viral video.

Reports indicated that the boy accused of attacking Jamal was a Robinson supporter and had frequently shared his material on social media.

"I had a woman, and I’ll show you our screenshots, messaging me all morning about what had happened to her son," he says into the camera with a smile.

‘It turns out some leftie is sitting somewhere absolutely mugging me completely off and laughing about it," he said, calling the incident "fake news central".

"It turns out the “13-year-old boy” who had been jumped by five Muslims wasn’t her son," he ends.

However, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League has not taken back his other claim that Jamal had been involved in an attack on a young girl and left her “black and blue”, despite that claim being immediately denied by a woman purporting to be the girl's mother.

She said: “It wasn't him... it was the 3 girls... Delete it now I don't want my girls face on anything.”

Mr Robinson, who has convictions for violence and fraud, has secured a large following in the US and UK through social media and has a history of inflammatory anti-Muslim public statements.

The original video of the attack on the male student at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield showed him being held down and ‘waterboarded’ by a bully. The attacker threatens to drown the boy, before pouring water down his neck.

A further video came to light late Wednesday in which the sister of the boy was attacked at the same school in Huddersfield, in northern England.

The clip shows the unnamed girl being pushed from behind causing her to fall to the ground, according to the BBC.

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West Yorkshire Police said: “We have been made aware of a video showing a girl being assaulted at Almondbury Community School.

“The incident had not previously been reported to the police but we are now liaising with the girl’s family who we are continuing to support.”

Following Mr Robinson's video post, the boy's family solicitor took to Twitter to tell followers the family were considering legal action against the far-right provocateur for his comments. He later posted a photo of a letter address to Mr Robinson declaring the family were intending to take legal action against him.

The video of the first incident, which reportedly took place on the 25th October, was retweeted more than 65,000 times, with the bully receiving widespread condemnation from an array of public figures.

The victim, known as Jamal, said the bullying has kept him awake at night and made him feel “unsafe”.

“When I saw everyone looking at this video I felt ashamed of myself and why it happened. I was really upset about that,” he told ITV News.