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Tommy Robinson compares prison spell to Guantanamo Bay in Fox News interview

The former EDL leader made the comments during an appearance on conservative talkshow Tucker Carlson Tonight in the US.

Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson has compared his spell in jail to Guantanamo Bay during an appearance on Fox News.

Robinson was on conservative talkshow Tucker Carlson Tonight in the US on Thursday to discuss his release from prison.

He was released from HMP Onley in Rugby on Wednesday after three leading judges in London quashed a contempt finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May.

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Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson has appeared on Fox News (Joe Giddens/PA)

Robinson, who was introduced as an “activist”, told the host he was known for “criticising Islam” and that there had been “planned attempts” on his life in the UK.

The 35-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, said he had been the victim of a “kangaroo court” and complained he had lost “nearly 40lb” in prison after living on a diet of one tin of tuna and a piece of fruit a day.

He said that, after being moved prisons, he was put in solitary confinement for two months which resulted in the shortening of his legal visits and the disruption of his legal access.

I was supposed to be in Her Majesty's Prison Service, not Guantanamo Bay Tommy Robinson

He added: “I was supposed to be in Her Majesty’s Prison Service, not Guantanamo Bay.”

Robinson told the show that other prisoners threw excrement and spat through his ground floor cell window.

He said: “This case, the world has watched it, it’s shocked them, for me this has been nothing new.”

He said he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a five-month period of solitary confinement in 2012 but had not mentioned it because he did not want to compare his prison experience with those of veterans who had been in war zones.

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Tommy Robinson was freed on bail by the Court of Appeal where judges quashed a finding of contempt made against him at Leeds Crown Court (Joe Giddens/PA)

When asked why he had been locked up, Robinson said he still did not know what the reason was and argued he had been the victim of “hatchet jobs” from the “mainstream media”.

Robinson could still face jail over an allegation that he committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.

Judges rejected his lawyers’ argument that there should not be a fresh hearing because he has already served the equivalent of a four-month sentence.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “Mr Yaxley-Lennon was treated with the same fairness we aim to show all prisoners – he had access to visits, television and showers – and it is totally false to say he was held in ‘solitary confinement’.

“He was initially placed into the Care & Separation Unit for less than 48 hours while an assessment of the risk to his safety was undertaken by prison staff. He then joined the main prison population.”

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