Radio Sandwell News

Ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson to give talks  on tolerance

2014-01-14 16:09:10

Tommy Robinson
Rally arrest: Robinson at 2010 march

The violent ex-leader of the far right English Defence League is set to give talks on tolerance to schoolchildren.

Tommy Robinson - a convicted thug, fraudster and football hooligan - is due to begin his tour within days.

But the decision to let him into the classroom has sparked fury with the public.

One parent at a school on Robinson's visit list said: "Given this man’s appalling record for thuggery and his history of inciting racial tension, it beggars belief that he is being ushered into classrooms.

"I am disgusted.

"What on Earth has he got to say that's worth our children hearing? He should just crawl under a rock and keep quiet."

Robinson, 30, quit the EDL in October, saying he was unable to control some extreme members.

He said he had suffered death threats ever since.

He has now joined Islamic think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, which says it aims to tackle extremism.

A spokesman said the talks would also be attended by other former members of the EDL.

The spokesman added the visits were a continuation of Robinson's "journey away" from the EDL.

Tommy Robinson
March: Members of the English Defence League demonstrate in Bradford

One of the first places he will visit is the Duchess Community High School in Alnwick, Northumberland. Louis Spence, head of RE, defended allowing the dad of three to talk to sixth form and GCSE pupils.

He said: "By inviting visitors as diverse as Tommy Robinson, students are given the opportunity to rise to the challenges they will face as adults.

"There is a moral courage in thinking through difficult issues, standing up for what you believe in, whilst still showing respect and humanity."

Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is an ex-BNP member.

He founded the EDL in 2009 after Muslims staged a demo as UK troops returned from Afghanistan.

Critics say he went on to incite hatred against Muslims in violent rallies.

In September he was arrested at an EDL demonstration in East London attended by 600 people. And in November, Robinson admitted mortgage fraud. He faces sentence this year.

Last January he was jailed for 10 months for using someone else's ­passport to go to the US. A week after his wedding in 2011 he was convicted of leading a brawl of Luton Town thugs. He also headbutted one of his own EDL members that year.

Source: mirror.co.uk

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