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Tommy Robinson, 30, who quit EDL this week after founding it four years ago, says he will work with police to investigate racism in the organisationAlso apologised for creating an ‘us versus them’ culture in Britain and causing fear among British Muslims
He will now work with Maajid Nawaz, who heads the deradicalisation thinktank, The Quilliam Foundation

Tommy Robinson, who dramatically quit the English Defence League this week, has vowed to help police tackle racism within the organsation and has apologised for causing fear among British Muslims.

Mr Robinson, 30, said he would work with police to help them investigate racism in the organisation – known for its thuggish street protests and extremist followers.

Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also said he was sorry for creating a ‘us and them’ culture and for causing fear among British Muslims.

Mr Robinson, who co-founded the group four years ago with Kevin Carroll who also left the group this week, said: ‘I apologise for [creating] that fear.’

When asked about his claim that ‘every single Muslim’ was to blame for ‘getting away’ with the July 7 bombings, he also said ‘I’m sorry’.


Mr Robinson said that his past inflammatory statements had often been fuelled by alcohol and the adrenaline rush of ‘leading the biggest street protest movement in Europe.’

Giving reason for his decision to leave the group, Mr Robinson said he had been sobered by his 18-week stint in prison and by the experience of being shunned by parents when picking up his children at school.

He will now work with Maajid Nawaz, a former prominent member of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir and who heads the deradicalisation thinktank, the Quilliam Foundation.

Mr Nawaz, who is also a prospective Lib Dem MP, said he had refused to sit with Robinson after being approached during the filming of a BBC documentary last week.

‘I shook his hand and said “I’m sorry, I’m not going to sit with you … until you’re ready to talk about leaving the EDL. I can’t give legitimacy to the EDL.”‘

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Nawaz said that Mr Robinson indicated that he was willing to leave after filming finished and so the paid began a series of conversations. 


‘If something was set fire and someone wrote “David Cameron” on the side of it, does it mean he did it?’ – EDL leader defends his organisation after an Islamic Centre in north London is set on fire and ‘EDL’ is found written at the scene.

‘Our tactics are completely questionable, yes, and I understand people who say you are going about it the wrong way’ – Mr Robinson admits he understands why the EDL are criticised.

‘This is a day of respect for our Armed Forces. They’ve had their Arab Spring. This is time for the English Spring’ – offensive outburst after Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich.

‘I class everyone in my community as everyone who is non-Islamic’ – The offensive words of Tommy Robinson who today said he is not anti-Muslim.

‘Complimentary lunch, manager’s a top lad, couldn’t be more apologetic’ – EDL leader Tweets his delight after Selfridges offer him a free lunch after previously refusing to serve him.

‘You obviously haven’t read the article properly – there is nothing in common with what you have to say’ – Mr Robinson is slapped down by Tony Blair’s office after he Tweets in support of an article the former Prime Minister wrote.

He said: ‘We spent the weekend talking over the phone, and then he came in [to the foundation] all day Monday and all day Tuesday.’

On Tuesday, Quilliam held a press conference where Mr Robinson announced his departure. 

Speaking at the time, Mr Robinson said he could no longer control members of the group.

He told the BBC: ‘When some moron lifts up his top and he’s got the picture of a mosque saying “boom”, and it’s all over the national newspapers, it’s me – it’s when I pick up my kids from school, the parents are looking at me – judging me on that.’

He added: ‘I have been considering this move for a long time. Whilst I want to lead a revolution against Islamist ideology, I don’t want to lead a revolution against Muslims.

‘I believe that the revolution needs to come from within the Islamic community and they need to stand up.’

Mr Robinson said the move would be a ‘massive problem’. He added: ‘Do I feel English Defence League members are going to plant bombs and target my family? No I don’t. [But] I feel there will be a backlash.’

In the Guardian interview, he said he now aims to ‘counter Islamist ideology . . . not with violence but with better, democratic ideas’.

Mr Robinson said his future work would involve taking on radicalism on all fronts, although he could not support anti-fascist groups because they also subscribed to ‘communism’ or were ‘anarchists’.

Prompted by Mr Nawaz, Mr Robinson appeared to agree with a vision of multiculturalism inclusive of a variety of ethnic and religious groups in Britain.

He added that he did not want to see some groups receiving ‘special treatment.’

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