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English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson to launch anti-Islam movement

Published 03/12/2015

Co-founder of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson
Co-founder of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson

The co-founder of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson is to launch a new UK anti-Islam movement.

The former EDL leader, who left the group in 2013 to work with anti-extremism think-tank The Quilliam Foundation, will signal a return to politics on Thursday in an interview with Channel 4 News, the broadcaster said.

He is to appear on the programme to discuss launching a "new anti-Islam street movement in the UK", believed to be international far-right group Pegida - whose roots are in Germany.

Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, spoke at a Pegida rally in the German city of Dresden last month where, according to a Facebook post by the group, he spoke about the Paris attacks and said he wanted them to "save our culture, save our country, save our future".

The Pegida UK Official Facebook page also includes the tag line "Supported by Tommy Robinson".

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In 2013 when he left the EDL, Mr Robinson said he wanted to "counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas".

Pegida UK has attempted to launch twice before in the UK and held its first rally in Newcastle in February.

In April about 100 members marched to Downing Street where they were met by anti-fascist counter-demonstrators.

The name Pegida translated from the German acronym means Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West.

It peaked in Dresden in January this year when 25,000 supporters turned out for a rally.

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