Stephen Lennon, better known as “Tommy Robinson”, has created a media operation that is bringing in tens of thousands of pounds every month, making him the wealthiest ever far-right activist in the UK.
While Lennon claims he is simply an employee of Urban Scoop, an independent media company, HOPE not hate can exclusively reveal that he controls the day-to-day running of the operation. He is effectively a ‘silent director’, something that was illegal while he was bankrupt.
HOPE not hate has also acquired evidence to suggest that Urban Scoop has broken the law by operating the business from a false address.
Despite being handed a five-year stalking order last year for targeting Independent journalist Lizzie Dearden and her partner, the former English Defence League (EDL) leader has long sought out semi-respectability as a (self-declared) “independent journalist”, claiming to uncover stories supposedly ignored by the mainstream media and delivering news in a confrontational and action-packed way.
In 2018 Stephen Lennon and his now ex-wife Jenna set up a company called Bubba Media, though this appears to have been largely inactive and shut down soon after it was listed. In the same year Jenna Lennon launched HOPE and Pride Ltd, and was listed at Companies House as its sole director.
In a precursor to how a successor organisation, Urban Scoop, operates today, HOPE and Pride had no public profile but traded through TR News, a media organisation launched by Lennon in 2019. Donations to and appeals promoted by TR News went through to HOPE and Pride Ltd.
The libel case brought against Lennon by Syrian refugee Jamal Hijazi (in which the 16-year-old schoolboy’s family was forced to move home, following malicious claims made by Lennon in a widely-watched video, after Hijazi was assaulted by a white schoolboy) appeared to take a lot out of Lennon. In February 2021, he and Jenna got divorced and a month later, he filed for bankruptcy – but both moves were part of a plan to ensure Hijazi would receive nothing in the event of Lennon losing his libel case. And lose he did.
A month after the libel hearings ended, but before the judge’s ruling, Lennon was already thinking of his next media move.
“I am looking at setting up a group with networking, research, audio/visual (video making), and social media,” he posted on Telegram on 21 May. “Alternative media is the future, we have to bypass dishonest, sanitised, globalist media.”
On 2 August 2021 Jenna Lennon registered a new company, SquareFT Ltd, with Companies House. According to its website, SquareFT provides “solutions for independent and freelance journalists”. Jenna Lennon is the sole director of this company.
Despite claiming to be a resource for journalists, Stephen Lennon is the only identifiable person that we can find who has ever used SquareFT’s services. All rather strange, given that one of the main reasons for their divorce was that Lennon’s “political work” was adversely impacting Jenna and the family.
On 13 October 2021, on the day that Lennon was heading to Westminster Magistrates Court to hear the verdict in the stalking case that had been taken out against him for harassing Independent journalist Lizzie Dearden, an email went out to his supporters asking for money to help pay his legal costs. The appeal was hosted on the SquareFT website.
A few weeks later, in early December 2021, Lennon announced his ‘Rape of Britain’ film, which claimed to identify Muslim groomers of white girls in Telford, along with plans to release it alongside a demonstration in the town.
Over the next few weeks a flurry of appeals for funds went out by email via his remaining social media outlets, GETTR and Telegram. He asked for financial assistance to support his investigation, to supposedly help relocate survivors and their families, and to pay for the cost of security and surveillance. Each of these appeals led people to a donation page on the SquareFT website.
Yet where was the money going?
No-one else but Lennon appeared to be using SquareFT, and all the different appeals seem to have gone into the same bank account – also used for all general donations to support the work of SquareFT.
So anyone making a donation either to SquareFT, to Lennon’s legal appeal or to any one of his funding appeals for his Telford efforts received the same notification from their bank, that they had donated to ‘Donate TR’, suggesting that all donations were going into the same bank account.
Shortly before Christmas last year, Stephen Lennon began telling his supporters that he had been offered a job with a new independent media company, Urban Scoop, which he claimed would provide a monthly salary and support him in his work.
While the Urban Scoop website was initially registered on 9 December 2021, it offered nothing more than a holding page until a more comprehensive site appeared in late January 2022. In fact, Lennon only began promoting Urban Scoop, and its all-important fundraising page, 24 hours after the Independent contacted him and Jenna over allegations that it was Jenna who actually ran SquareFT.
While Lennon declined to comment to the Independent, he immediately removed a link to SquareFT from the header of his GETTR account and then, a day later, replaced it with a link to the donation page hosted on the Urban Scoop website.
The former EDL leader has repeatedly, and sometimes angrily, insisted that Urban Scoop has nothing to do with his ex-wife. If so, how does he explain the bank details for the two companies appear to be exactly the same? Donations to both Urban Scoop and SquareFT – for whom the sole director is his ex-wife – both go into an account called ‘Donate TR’.
We can also reveal that both SquareFT and Urban Scoop have used the same foodbank as their apparent business address, yet the foodbank did not have any link to either company or to Lennon. When HOPE not hate alerted the foodbank, it sent a legal letter to both companies, demanding they stop.
Another link between the two companies is that they both share the same email list. Anyone who signed up to TR News, like I did during Lennon’s failed European election bid in 2019, began receiving SquareFT and later Urban Scoop emails. Given that TR News was the trading name for HOPE and Pride Ltd, a company solely run by Jenna Lennon, she obviously controlled or owned the list, which had then been passed on to Urban Scoop. If Urban Scoop was a totally different company, then this sharing of data would obviously be illegal.
If there was any doubt that Urban Scoop is effectively controlled by Lennon, then one needs to look no further than the general donations page on its website. Anyone making a donation via this page, which claims simply “to support OUR work at Urban Scoop”, pays into the Donate TR account, the same account that Lennon has used for donations for his own work, and the same account used by SquareFT to fund his legal costs.
So all the money appears to be going into one big pot, of which the main beneficiary appears to be Stephen Lennon.
Lennon has angrily denied that his ex-wife has anything to do with Urban Scoop. If this is true, then who might, at least “formally”, own Urban Scoop? One possible answer could be Freestyle Freelancer Ltd, a company set up on 8 December 2021, one day before Urban Scoop first registered its website. The sole director of Freestyle Freelancer is Adam Gaery, operating from the same Luton business address as SquareFT and a number of previous Lennon businesses.
Adam Geary is better known in the far right world as “Nem”, Lennon’s number two and key strategist and enforcer. Geary has been with Lennon since the early EDL days, initially acting as admin on the EDL’s Facebook page back in 2010, and then, with Hel Gower, as a key member of the EDL Support Group. He has operated online as “Nem”, “Nemisis” and “Steve Infidel”.
For the last few years Geary has run Lennon’s social media accounts, in conjunction with Newcastle-based Jack Dawkins (real name Craig Fowler). He also masterminded Lennon’s focus on US content over the past year, understanding that this could be an opportunity to mine a huge funding stream.
Yet even if it is Geary who officially runs Urban Scoop, the same questions still arise: why do donations for Urban Scoop and SquareFT both go into an account named ‘Donate TR’? Why did Urban Scoop and SquareFT both claim to operate from the same foodbank address? Why did both companies switch addresses simultaneously when the foodbank complained? And why do Urban Scoop and SquareFT both use the same email list?
If Lennon is using Adam Geary to protect Jenna Lennon from further investigation, that might actually make problems worse for the former EDL leader. He is the one constant between both SquareFT and Urban Scoop. With such clear overlap, the strong suspicion is that Lennon is effectively running both companies.
Previous experience suggests that there will be no company name or bank account listed in Lennon’s name. We have also learnt that his financial dealings are tightly controlled by his immediate family and long-standing friends, and there is very little prospect that he would outsource his finances to outsiders.
HOPE not hate has received information from several sources that Lennon is making tens of thousands of pounds in one-off and recurring donations every month – a quite extraordinary amount. It seems inconceivable to think that he would allow others to profit from his work.
So does all this matter? Yes, absolutely.
In addition to being a far-right rabble rouser making a six-figure sum over the last few months alone, giving him the resources to further whip up tensions and hatred, the profits from this business operation (which were made before Lennon came out of bankruptcy on 3 March 2022) could potentially be seized by the Bankruptcy investigators and used to repay Lennon’s debts, which are now estimated at over £2m.
Not only that, but if Lennon is secretly controlling the businesses we have outlined here, and thus performing the role of a ‘shadow director’, then he would be falling foul of bankruptcy rules and could open himself up for further prosecution.
The scale of the money Lennon is bringing in each month is almost unfathomable. If this is the case, then these assets should be seized to repay the Syrian teenager he libelled and all the others he owes money.
A file of our evidence is now being supplied to the Insolvency Practitioner who is leading the investigation into Lennon’s bankruptcy.
Nick Lowles is CEO of HOPE not hate | @lowles_nick
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