‘Tommy Robinson’: women’s groups reject euro election bid

Anger at far right leader’s pledge of MEP salary to rape victims - women call out racism and misogyny

Reacting with fury against so-called ‘Tommy Robinson’s’ candidacy in the Euro elections, and his outrageous use of campaigning messages related to child sexual abuse, 43 women and women’s organisations have today (10 May) written an open letter to voters and community leaders in the North West region, rejecting his vile claims and calling out his racism and misogyny.

The letter is signed by women who have spent their lives working to end abuse of women and girls and who are disgusted by ‘Tommy Robinson’s’ pledge to donate any MEP salary to abuse victims.

The 43 signatories are workers in survivor support groups, activists and academics. The letter includes the remarks:

“‘Tommy Robinson’, a man convicted of assault, rioting and fraud, a thug with a long history of making racist statements, has made a career out of causing trouble and division.

“We, as organisations and individuals fighting tirelessly against the abuse of women and girls, as survivors of abuse and their families, and as people who care about our communities, do not want your money, Tommy.

“We are calling on the people of the North West to reject Tommy Robinson’s hatred…and to turn out against him in the upcoming European Elections.

“Those who have suffered sexual and physical abuse were failed by those who should have protected them. But Tommy Robinson is no ally for the children he claims to stand up for. Tommy doesn’t care about the rights of women and girls – he is exploiting the pain of survivors and their families to fuel racist hate for his own gain. He is a misogynist and has recklessly put victims at risk for his own moment of media spotlight.

“Tommy Robinson’s factually incorrect messages about ‘grooming’, and his attempt to portray himself as a champion of the cause, are an insult to survivors of abuse.

 “They are also a profound insult to the women who have spent their whole lives building support services for survivors and working to ensure some cases finally got to court. Where were you during that work Tommy Robinson?”

The full letter text including signatories is below and others can contact the EVAW Coalition to add their names and support:

Friday 10 May 2019

Dear Media Editors, Community Leaders, MPs, Activists, Friends,

‘Tommy Robinson’, a man convicted of assault, rioting and fraud, a thug with a long history of making racist statements, has made a career out of causing trouble and division. He is now standing as an MEP candidate in the North West.

Tommy Robinson has made claims that, if elected, he will offer his salary to the child victims of what he terms ‘Muslim rape gangs’. We, as organisations and individuals fighting tirelessly against the abuse of women and girls, as survivors of abuse and their families, and as people who care about our communities, do not want your money, Tommy.

We are calling on the people of the North West to reject Tommy Robinson’s hatred, to register to vote, and to turn out against him in the upcoming European Elections. He has no place as our elected representative.

Those who have suffered sexual and physical abuse were failed by those who should have protected them. But Tommy Robinson is no ally for the children he claims to stand up for. Tommy doesn’t care about the rights of women and girls – he is exploiting the pain of survivors and their families to fuel racist hate for his own gain. He is a misogynist and has recklessly put victims at risk for his own moment of media spotlight.

Tommy Robinson’s factually incorrect messages about ‘grooming’, and his attempt to portray himself as a champion of the cause, are an insult to survivors of abuse.

They are also a profound insult to the women who have spent their whole lives building support services for survivors and working to ensure some cases finally got to court. Where were you during that work Tommy Robinson? The far right were never any part of this work.

We do not want a convicted thug and racist who does not truly care about abuse survivors on our ballot papers and we reject you Tommy Robinson.

In solidarity,

Sarah Green & Rachel Krys, Co-Directors, End Violence Against Women Coalition

Gurpreet Virdee, Co-Director, Women and Girls Network

Stella Dadzie, British Educationalist, activist, writer and historian

Shonagh Dillon, Founder and CEO, Aurora New Dawn

Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters

Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, The Women’s Budget Group

Maggie Parks OBE, Chief Executive, The Women’s Centre Cornwall

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation

Amna Abdul- Children and Young People’s Lead, National Women’s Aid

Women’s March London

Akeela Ahmed MBE, founder, She Speaks We Hear

Aisha Ali-Khan, founder, Women United

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Lawyer and founder, Women in Leadership publication

Rachel Krengel, Intersectional Feminist Activist

Carys Afoko, founder, Level Up

Harriet Wistrich, Director, Centre for Women’s Justice

Marai Larasi MBE, Executive Director, Imkaan

Baljit Banga, Director, London Black Women’s Project

Christine McNaught, CEO, FWT Centre for women

Naana Otoo-Oyortey, Executive Director, FORWARD

Yvonne Traynor, CEO, Rape Crisis South London / Surrey & Sussex

Dr Miranda Horvath, Middlesex University.

Natasha Walter, Feminist Activist and Author – Living Dolls

Gemma Snowball, DHR & Team Development Manager, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Rebecca Vagi, Housing Manager, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Miranda Pio, Programme Manager and Policy Lead, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Professor Aisha K. Gill, Professor of Criminology & Co-Chair of EVAW

Huda Jawad, StandingTogether Against Domestic Violence & Co-Chair of EVAW

Aisha Graham-Sharif-, Intersectional Feminist Activist

Philomina Azu, Intersectional feminist activist

Forida Khatoun, Equalities Campaigner

Shazia Shamim, Equalities Campaigner

Monsura Mahmoud, Equalities Campaigner

Shaista Aziz, Cllr Rose Hill and Iffley, Oxford

Professor Marianne Hester, University of Bristol

Professor Liz Kelly CBE, London Metropolitan University

Yasmin Rehman, Human Rights Activist

Dr Fiona Vera-Grey, School of Law, Durham University

Jo Todd, CEO, RESPECT

Sara Kirkpatrick, RESPECT

Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm, Author and Domestic Abuse Specialist

Rachel Adamson, Director, Zero Tolerance

RMT Women’s Advisory Group

Jean Hatchet, Ride For Murdered Women

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