Former EDL leader addresses Oxford Union amid protest

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon speaking at the Oxford Union
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon speaking at the Oxford Union

English Defence League co-founder and former leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon spoke at the Oxford Union last night, despite calls for the address to be cancelled.

Mr Yaxley-Lennon, from Luton, was forced to abandon a previous talk at the Oxford University debating society last month after being recalled to prison, which he claimed was as he planned to “expose secretive police units who have attempted and failed to recruit me”.

Despite a petition to cancel the 31-year-old’s invitation, which was signed by more than 220 people, the address went ahead– albeit with the presence of protesters outside the union.

At the start of a one hour and twenty minute speech to 250 students, Mr Yaxley-Lennon said that he had changed his address after warnings from probation officers to avoid several subjects.

He said: “I have three children, and I don’t want to spend Christmas in prison because of the effect that will have on them.

“I regain my freedom of speech on the 22nd July 2015 (when his license period ends).

“I would be happy to come back and speak to you freely then.”

Later in the address he claimed HM Prison Woodhill, where he was sent after being convicted of mortgage fraud, is an “ISIS training camp”.

He added: “The imams there are regarded as stooges.

“The radicals are running the wings.”