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Wilders with Robinson in The Hague. Screenshot from YouTube

Geert Wilders hosts Tommy Robinson in The Hague

On December 17, Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom [Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV] in the Netherlands, invited Tommy Robinson to the Dutch parliament for a tour.

Published: December 24, 2018, 9:05 am

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    The Hague

    Tommy Robinson has become one of the most influential people in British politics, with more than 1 million followers on Facebook.

    When Wilders showed him the Dutch parliamentary library, Robinson joked that it looked like a scene from famous children’s character Harry Potter.

    The anti-Muslim activist Robinson has counted on support from US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon and Dutch conservative leader Geert Wilders.

    His Facebook followers make him the second most-popular British political figure on the social media platform, behind Jeremy Corbyn, with 1.4 million. Both Theresa May and Boris Johnson have fewer than 600 000 followers.

    On social media, more readers share stories about Robinson than almost any major political figure, according to figures compiled by the social media monitoring service Newswhip.

    And in terms of interactions per story, Robinson is the clear winner. Over the whole year, Robinson stories generated an average of 1 164 interactions each, more than double the next political figure on the list: Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, who receives 660 interactions per story.

    Nigel Farage is next with 550, followed by Corbyn with 326 interactions per story, then Johnson with 245, followed by May with 177.

    Tommy Robinson has been a top trending topic: Between January and November 2018, each article mentioning him generated seven times more social media interactions than those about Prime Minister Theresa May.

    During the week starting February 27, each article mentioning Tommy Robinson generated an average of 4 395 interactions. Interestingly, during that time, he was also banned from Twitter.

    Steve Bannon, a vocal supporter of Robinson, in September this year, noted: “It’s a great story. I mean why wouldn’t it be? First off you get Tommy Robinson, you get to lighten up guys that like Tommy Robinson — and you make the British establishment’s head blow off.”

    Robinson’s impressive social media presence was boosted by interest from American conservatives. Four of the top viral stories about him, according to Newswhip, were written by popular US conservative websites, InfoWars, Breitbart, Fox News and Dangerous.com.

    Infowars had warned that Robinson faced “certain death” after being transferred to a Muslim prison in the UK as he awaited his appeal. He had faced trumped-up charges for reporting on the trial of a Pakistani grooming gang.

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