Soldier in video with Tommy Robinson ‘to be discharged’
The British Army will be discharging a soldier who appeared in a video with Islam critic Tommy Robinson.
Published: October 11, 2018, 10:48 am
The 35-year-old Robinson posted images to his Facebook page on Monday which included a video of young men in camouflage uniform cheering him and chanting his name.
Robinson had met the trainees at Watford Gap motorway services. He called it “the most honourable morning I’ve ever had”.
He added: “A moment like this makes it all worth while. Today I met real British heroes.” The army said in response however it would be “investigating the circumstances surrounding this”.
Major General Rupert Jones, slated to take up the appointment of Standing Joint Force Commander, harshly denounced Robinson in the media: ”The British Army is absolutely clear that we do not tolerate extremist views and we don’t tolerate extremist behaviour.”
The army is currently in the process of discharging the soldier who appeared in a video with Robinson, he confirmed.
“I am very confident that is a widely held position across the Army. Much of the reaction to that incident from our people tells you that.”
There has been condemnation of the images, notably from the Muslim Council of Britain. They welcomed “the swift statement by the army in disassociating itself from the far right and we hope that safeguards are put in place to ensure that Islamophobia will have no place in our armed forces”.
Jones explained: ‘The Army absolutely encourages diversity in our teams. We are stronger for diversity – we have very high expectations and standards and we will comply with those.”
He added: “It’s really important for British people to see what the military are doing on their behalf. We live in an era of constant competition – the threats are diversifying and we cannot underestimate those threats, and I think it’s important that the British public understand that.”
Imam Asim Hafiz, an Islamic adviser to the armed forces, said: “Any form of racism, discrimination or extremism is taken extremely seriously and will be dealt with accordingly. The armed forces remain absolutely committed to welcoming individuals from across all faiths and cultures into its ranks.”
The government’s counter-extremism chief, Sara Khan, also denounced Robinson for posing alongside military figures, saying his “attention-seeking is cover for divisive anti-Muslim hatred”.
Kahn continued: “I am very worried about the growing impact of the far right in England and Wales. We have to strengthen our response across society.”
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