English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson has been banned from using PayPal.
The 35-year-old said the online payments system told him he did not fit within its user guidelines and would never be able to use the platform again.
The company said it does not comment on individual accounts but added in a statement: “We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.
“We do not take decisions like these lightly, and we work hard to be rigorous and fair-minded when reviewing PayPal accounts.”
The move comes after online petitions, demanding the firm stop processing payments for the activist, gathered thousands of signatures.
But Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who said he had been using the platform to collect donations to fight his legal battles, branded the ban as “fascism”.
“They just don’t like my opinion and want to silence me,” he told the Press Association.
“The Government and establishment can see I have public support, they can see I have the ability to fight back.”
Robinson said PayPal has also frozen “a lot” of money that was in the account for 180 days.
PayPal said: “Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today.
“We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political.”
Robinson was freed from prison in August after three leading judges quashed a contempt of court finding made at Leeds Crown Court.
On Monday he was formally released from bail after Old Bailey judge Nicholas Hilliard QC referred his case to the Attorney General.
The court heard that he denied breaching the Contempt of Court Act and making a broadcast likely to seriously prejudice the trial.
The Attorney General’s Office has said all the material was being looked at “afresh” before a decision was made on whether to refer Robinson to the High Court for contempt.
- Press Association