THE leader of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon, has been released from Bedford Prison on bail until his trial for assault at the end of this month.
Mr Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson, was held in custody at Bedford Prison for a week after breaking bail conditions by attending a demonstration in London.
The EDL said their leader was on hunger strike while in prison, because he was a ‘political prisoner’ and because he believed the food served was halal.
While at Bedford Prison he is understood to have been kept in segregation both for his own safety and over concerns about disruption at the prison.
A source said: “There was a big concern because he is so high profile, so they kept him away from the other prisoners. He was classed as a vulnerable inmate.
“It is a diverse prison and they were worried what might happen. There are also a lot of people from Luton in there as it’s the nearest prison and there were concerns there might be a riot.”
The source said Mr Lennon was held in an underground cell where he was allowed a television, and that his exercise was taken in a yard boarded off so he could not be seen by other inmates.
They added: “His hunger strike only lasted 24 hours and then he gave up.”
But Mr Lennon said yesterday morning (Tuesday September 13) that he had not consumed anything other than water while in custody.
He said: “I had a Nando’s last night when I came out and I was up all night ill – I thought I was going to have to go to hospital. I lost a stone while I was in there.”
Mr Lennon denies assaulting a man at an EDL protest in Blackburn in April, and said he was looking forward to the trial at Preston Magistrates Court on September 29.
“I will go to court and I will walk out of court,” he said. “The man who I’m supposed to have assaulted has come forward and said it wasn’t me.
“I’m going to keep on breaking these bail conditions – they just want to stop my involvement with the EDL. I’m not allowed to send emails, faxes, texts. That’s against my human rights and civil liberties.
“I will say what I want, when I want.”