Rabbi disguise for EDL leader

By Marcus Dysch, September 5, 2011
Tommy Robinson on stage, dressed as a rabbi

Tommy Robinson on stage, dressed as a rabbi

The leader of the English Defence League disguised himself as a rabbi to address supporters during a demonstration in east London on Saturday.

Stephen Lennon – known as Tommy Robinson – donned the outfit, which included a black hat and fake beard, in an apparent attempt to evade the police.

Introduced as "Rabbi Benjamin Kidderman", he climbed onto a platform and announced: "Do you know how long I've been waiting to take this s*** off?"

Mr Lennon then removed the outfit and addressed the crowd. By attending the protest the 28-year-old breached his bail conditions imposed following a football-related offence, but was not arrested.

EDL supporters clashed with police and were involved in scuffles during the demo.

Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson

Around 3,000 officers had been drafted in to maintain control in the Whitechapel, Aldgate and Tower Hamlets areas of the East End. They made 60 arrests, mainly for affray and public order offences, but said the day had passed "without major incident".

Hundreds of residents and anti-fascist group supporters took part in a counter-demo.

Of Mr Lennon's disguise, a CST spokesman said: "The EDL only uses Jews and Israel in order to try and provoke Muslims. It is racist politics and anyone who sincerely cares about Jews, or Israel, should condemn it."

Home Secretary Theresa May had banned the EDL from marching through the borough of Tower Hamlets and the City of London.

Last updated: 12:07pm, September 5 2011