EDL leader arrested for East End appearance

EDL founder Stephen Lennon speaking to demonstrators at Aldgate Station on Saturday. Photo by PA

EDL founder Stephen Lennon speaking to demonstrators at Aldgate Station on Saturday. Photo by PA

The leader of the English Defence League has been arrested for breaching bail after turning up at his group’s rally in the East End on Saturday.

Stephen Lennon, 28, appeared at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was remanded in custody.

The 28-year-old, who also goes by the name Tommy Robinson, told far right activists at Aldgate, where the EDL held their demonstration, that he planned to breach his conditions.

He is on bail for an alleged assault during a demonstration in Blackburn in April.

Addressing the baying EDL crowd after they had headed into the East End from central London, he said: “I’m meant to sign on at a police station on a Saturday. I’m not doing that. I’m not allowed to go to a demonstration. I’m not doing that. The credible outcome is I will be put on remand in prison for my democratic right.

“That’s what’s going to happen and when I go to court if they let me out of court with any bail conditions that restrict my democratic right to oppose militant Islam, I will break them the minute I walk out.”

Lennon arrived dressed as a rabbi with a fake beard and hat and removed his costume before making his speech.

In July, Lennon, who is from Luton, was found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and leading Luton Town’s hooligans into a fight.

He was given a 12-month community rehabilitation order, 150 hours of unpaid work, and a three-year football banning order.

He was also ordered to pay £650 in costs.

Police estimate that about 1,000 members of the far right group descended on London on Saturday but police kept them outside of the Tower Hamlets border.

There were a total of 61 arrests during the day.

Of those, 46 people have been bailed to return to a north London police station in November.

A further five people have been charged under the Public Order Act and three for assaults on police.

Four have accepted cautions and four have been released with no further action.

From the East London Advertiser. 06.09.11. Story by By Nadia Sam-Daliri. 

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