Tommy Robinson quits the EDL

Tommy Robinson addresses the crowd at September's EDL march

Tommy Robinson addresses the crowd at September's EDL march - Credit: Archant

The leader of far right group the English Defence League (EDL) has left the organisation.

Tommy Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – made the announcement today in conjunction with anti-extremist group Quilliam.

Co-leader Kevin Carroll also announced he had quit the EDL.

Mr Robinson said: “I have been considering this move for a long time because I recognise that, though street demonstrations have brought us to this point, they are no longer productive.

“I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas.”

The EDL staged a demonstration in east London on September, where Mr Robinson was arrested. He was charged with failing to comply with the law and inciting illegal public assembly, and is due to appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on October 22.

Quilliam said it would help the former leader counter extremism in all its forms.

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Mr Robinson and Kevin Carroll are due to hold a join press conference later today at an undisclosed location in London.