Controversial anti-extremism group Quilliam were left red-faced this weekend — after far-right goon Tommy Robinson revealed they had paid him £8,000 after he quit the English Defence League.
What’s more, the news comes nearly two years after a Quilliam spokesman vigorously denied a financial relationship with Robinson when queried on the issue by Scrapbook.
Robinson claims Quilliam — founded by Islamist-turned-strip-club-fan Maajid Nawaz — put him on the payroll for six months starting in late 2013. The group has now confessed:
“Tommy was remunerated, as an external actor, after invoicing us for costs associated with outreach that he and Dr Usama Hassan did to Muslim communities after Tommy’s departure from the EDL, in an attempt to reconcile Tommy with our Muslim communities.”
But in January 2014 Scrapbook rang the Quilliam Foundation to ask them about their financial relationship with Robinson, reporting at the time that a “spokesman was at pains to deny they were paying him for anything”. The spokesman went on:
“Tommy Robinson isn’t doing anything for Quilliam. He’s not a member of staff here … He’s his own man.”
“We do outreach work. Tommy Robinson does other things and he’s not working here.”
Even the sleight of hand on ‘member of staff’ vs ‘external actor’ doesn’t get them off the hook. We specifically asked them about consultancy work and other payments.