Exclusive: Tommy Robinson admits Pegida ‘could come to Luton’

Tommy Robinson, from Luton, stood down from the EDL in October 2013
Tommy Robinson, from Luton, stood down from the EDL in October 2013

Tommy Robinson has admitted he cannot rule out staging a protest through Luton with his new anti-Islamist group.

Last week Robinson, real name Stephen Lennon, announced that he will front Pegida UK when it protests in Birmingham on February 6.

The EDL founder speaking at a protest in May 2012

The EDL founder speaking at a protest in May 2012

Speaking exclusively to the Herald & Post, the Luton-born English Defence League founder admitted that in his eyes the town is a key target.

He said: “I wouldn’t rule it out at all– Birmingham, east London and Luton are the biggest hotspots for Islamic extremism in the country.

“Luton still faces a lot of the same problems as it did five years ago.”

Pegida– which stands for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West– is an east German movement which regularly demonstrates in Dresden.

It claims to be opposed to radicalism and “preachers of hate” and has called for stricter immigration laws in Germany.

Community leaders in Birmingham have condemned the group’s plans and have said that its planned demonstration in February is “based on prejudice, intolerance and hate.”

Lennon contends that the protest will be a far-cry from EDL marches which regularly descended into chaos.

He said: “The plan is to make it very different to the EDL and to not allow alcohol or any aggression.

“Drinking on demonstrations was not the right way to go about it– this march come without the football culture.”

He added: “We want to be appeal to mainstream people and to make it an entirely peaceful, silent walk.

“We do not want to upset the Muslim community and we are happy to negotiate on where it will take place to cause the least unrest.

“I’m positive that we will take thousands and not hundreds.”

Lennon stood down from the EDL in October 2013, after holding a number of discussions with the Quilliam Foundation.

In January 2014 he was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to a charge of mortgage fraud.

On why he has decided to lead the UK branch of Pegida, he told the Herald & Post: “In the two years since I left the EDL we have had ISIS, Charlie Hebdo, attacks in Paris and London, the Trojan Horse plot.

“It has been non stop.

“The issue has to be tackled and addressed and this is the platform for it.”