English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson has been banned from using PayPal.

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 35-year-old said.

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.

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