NIGEL Farage hosted Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist for President Trump, on his call-in show on LBC yesterday morning. Mr Bannon, who is also the former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, took listeners calls on a variety of subjects. When the conversation turned to Tommy Robinson however, the show sprung to life.
Bannon described Tommy as a “solid guy”. Despite “not agreeing with Tommy on everything”, particularly on Islam which Mr Bannon feels has been “hijacked” by extremists, Bannon described Tommy’s imprisonment as “outrageous” and an attempt to “let the little guy know that if you get out of line they will throw you in jail”.
Theo Usherwood, LBCs Political Editor, waded in accusing Tommy Robinson of ‘Islamophobia’ for calling Islam a fascist religion. Bannon hit back that although he disagreed with Tommy on Islam, Mr Robinson is not a “bad guy” and although he may have broken the law in a “technical” way that law was “restrictive”.
Mr Usherwood took the row to Twitter where he said Bannon had, off-air, called him “fucking liberal elite” and called Tommy the “backbone” of Britain. Raheem Kassam, a former employee of Bannons as Editor In Chief of Breitbart London, quickly pointed out that Usherwood had publicised Bannons private remarks and also misled Bannon by claiming to be a “neutral” editor of the program before ambushing Bannon on and off air. Kassam then proceeded to have a heated discussion with Iain Dale, another presenter on LBC, who described Mr Bannon as a “two-bit fascist” and Mr Usherwood as a “valued colleague”.
Steve Bannon is one of the great figures of the patriotic movement. Indeed, most if not all of the decisions made by the Trump White House which I personally view of questionable have all really been made since Bannon was effectively forced out. His robust defence of Tommy Robinson is typical of someone who truly deserves the epithet ‘Free Speech Warrior’ and it is no real surprise that an ultimately mainstream media outlet like LBC can’t handle the home truths Bannon has come to tell.