The Duchess of Sussex’s half sister Samantha Markle has used Twitter to demand the release of Tommy Robinson.

The sister of the newly married Meghan Markle tweeted a petition calling on British Prime Minister Theresa May to “free” the former leader of the English Defence League.

The petition, which has been signed by more than 500,000 people, praises the behaviour of Tommy Robinson and calls for his release saying: “Its time we stand together, stand strong, and stand by his side.”

Some Twitter users expressed their support for Robinson, while others criticised Ms Markle for misunderstanding law surrounding contempt of court and wading in to domestic British politics.

Samantha tweeted her support for the far-right activist
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Samantha tweeted her support for the far-right activist

Tommy Robinson was sentenced to ten months for contempt of court and a further three months for flouting the terms of a suspended sentence.

The far-right activist, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was arrested on Friday outside Leeds Crown Court after using social media to broadcast details of an ongoing trial which is subject to blanket reporting restrictions.

In footage that was played in the court on Friday, the right-wing activist, 35, of Wilstead, Bedfordshire, was seen filming himself and people involved in the trial.

The hour-long footage had been watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook, the court heard.

:: UKIP MEP quits over party support for Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson
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Tommy Robinson was jailed for contempt of court

The judge told Robinson that his actions could cause the trial to be re-run, costing “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds”.

He was previously told he was on a “knife edge” when he was sentenced in May 2017 for trying to film four men standing trial at Canterbury Crown Court on 8 May that year accused of gang-raping a teenage girl.

After sentencing him to three months jail, suspended for 18 months, Judge Norton last year said: “There are notices all over the court building making it clear that filming or taking photographs is an offence and may be a contempt of court.”

More from Meghan Markle

Samantha Markle has proved a controversial sibling for the newest member of the British Royal family.

She previously cast doubt on her half sister’s motivations for charity work, and called on the Royal family to “step up to the plate” and help Meghan’s bankrupt father.