Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has staged a protest outside the BBC HQ in response to an investigative documentary being made about him.
During the demonstration in Manchester he screened ‘Panodrama’, a film he has made himself in response to the Panorama investigation into him.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, told the crowd: ‘F**k you, fake news’, as he insisted ‘We are constantly battling a media that lie.’
EDL founder Tommy Robinson at the rally today (Picture: PA)
His supporters were there to cheer him on (Picture: Getty)
He also claimed: ‘Evidence of a corrupt media is that not one single journalist in Britain has reported on Panodrama.’
The documentary, which lasted about an hour, showed Robinson’s former aide Lucy Brown secretly filming a meeting she had with BBC investigative journalist John Sweeney.
Robinson, 35, used the pre-planned interview to confront Sweeney as both sides were filming.
After the documentary was screened Robinson showed a video clip where he declared himself the ‘king of the whole Islam race’, before urging the crowd to cancel their TV licences to stop paying for the BBC’s ‘propaganda’.
Ukip leader Gerard Batten also used the protest to advertise his party, and urged Robinson’s fans to join him.
They gathered outside BBC HQ in Manchester (Picture: Getty)
Many had t-shirts supporting him (Picture: Joel Goodman/LNP)
Robinson called the protest in response to a documentary being made about him (Picture: PA)He claimed the BBC regards Robinson as a threat to the establishment, and said: ‘He speaks up for things that are right, he tells the truth and he can mobilise lots of people like you, and that’s what they fear.’
About 300 metres away, an anti-fascist protest was staged, with hundreds holding signs with slogans including ‘Stand up to racism’ and ‘Stop the fascist Tommy Robinson’.
Navendu Mishra, a Labour and Unite activist, said: ‘People of various backgrounds, age, gender and race assembled to share a message of hope, unity and community.
‘We will not allow anyone to divide us, as our nation faces new challenges globally and at home.’
There was a heavy police presence in the area, with a number of officers and police vans around both protests.
Metal barriers were placed around the BBC buildings and most of the nearby restaurants and bars were closed while the demonstrations took place.
Anti-fascist protesters also gathered (Picture: Getty)
Hundreds held signs saying ‘Stand up to racism’ and ‘Stop the fascist Tommy Robinson’.(Picture: Getty)
Robinson was jailed for 13 months but freed on appeal (Picture: PA)Robinson, who was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court but freed on appeal, said the Attorney General is still considering three charges against him.
He said: ‘Know this, Attorney General, I don’t even know what your name is, know this – I dare you to charge me again because I just want to see the scenes outside the courts.’
The demonstration also included video clips from Robinson’s wedding day accompanied by Take That song Greatest Day, which he said was played as a tribute to his wife, whose face had been blurred out.
It all ended with the crowd of Robinson supporters singing along to Neil Diamond song Sweet Caroline.
A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘BBC Panorama is investigating Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
‘The BBC strongly rejects any suggestion that our journalism is ‘faked’ or biased. Any programme we broadcast will adhere to the BBC’s strict editorial guidelines.
‘Some of the footage which has been released was recorded without our knowledge during this investigation and John Sweeney made some offensive and inappropriate remarks, for which he apologises.
‘BBC Panorama’s investigation will continue.’