EDL leader charged after Islamic extremist clash

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010
An EDL protester

An EDL protester

The founder and leader of the English Defence League (EDL) has been charged with assaulting a police officer during a confrontation with Islamic extremists.

Stephen Lennon, who also uses the name Tommy Robinson, clashed with the officer during a Remembrance Day protest in Kensington, west London.

Protesters from a group called Muslims Against Crusades were burning poppies at 11am and shouting: "British soldiers burn in hell".

Two Islamic protesters and five other EDL members were arrested for public order offences after the confrontation.

Mr Lennon, 27 and from Luton, has been released on bail and will appear in court on November 22.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said that the members of Muslims Against Crusades had been bailed until December pending further inquiries.

In October Mr Lennon organised a rally outside the Israeli embassy. He told the JC that when it came to counter-demonstrators he was prepared to “protect myself against anyone”.

He said: “I will stand up to anyone and that’s what you’re seeing.”

An initiative to combat Jewish support for the EDL has been launched by Jewish organisations including the Board of Deputies, Community Security Trust, the Israeli Embassy, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

Last updated: 1:41pm, November 12 2010