Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson could be jailed for two years after the attorney general ruled he should face new contempt of court charges.
Geoffrey Cox said it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against the far-right activist, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, over a video he filmed outside a sexual grooming trial at Leeds Crown Court.
The former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) was jailed for 13 months last May after he recorded people involved in a criminal trial and broadcast the footage on Facebook.
The one-hour video was viewed at least 250,000 times within a few hours of being posted on Facebook. The four men on trial were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.
Mr Robinson, 35, was accused of breaching an outright reporting restriction of a series of grooming gang trials in West Yorkshire, but the contempt finding was dismissed by the Court of Appeal last August.
The prominent Islamophobe was released to face new charges at the Old Bailey.
The Recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC, referred the case to the attorney general in October 2018 after receiving a statement from Mr Robinson.
In a statement released yesterday, Mr Cox said: “After carefully considering the details of this case, I have concluded there are strong grounds to bring fresh contempt of court proceedings against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
“As proceedings are now underway, it would not be appropriate to comment further and I remind everyone that it is an offence to comment on live court cases.”
The first hearing of the case will take place on Friday 22 March at the High Court in London.
In response to the announcement, Mr Robinson said: “What people should be asking is what’s taken the attorney general five months?
“How is this in the public interest? This is ongoing state persecution of a journalist who exposes the government, the establishment and all of their wrongs.
“I, along with the support of the British public, will contest this. I am innocent. I broke no law.”
Robinson’s previous court appearances have seen large crowds of supporters attend.
He could be imprisoned again if he is found guilty of contempt, with a maximum sentence of 24 months.