- 5 updates
English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has claimed he quit the organisation because "extremists and racists" who he had "battled" to keep out of the group returned as soon as he was absent.
"The first demonstration I couldn't attend, which was back in February...and they were welcomed back," Mr Robinson told Daybreak.
He blamed regional organisers for allowing radical elements briefly back into the EDL.
Mr Robinson warned these were "more organised" fringe groups who, after expulsion from the EDL, joined together and "wait like vultures on the wings".
Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson has said he left the group to avoid having to represent the proportion of extremist supporters it contains.
Speaking in a press conference about the far-right fascist members of the EDL, Robinson said "Am I willing to be the public face for them? No I'm not."
Asked whether he'd been forced out of the group because he'd failed to control its supporters, he said "if you look at the reaction from the English Defence League today they're devastated".
But Robinson insisted he would continue the debate about "Islamist ideologies", saying "the more you suppress a voice, the more extreme it will become."
The chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation has said he is sceptical of the leaders of the English Defence League leaving the group:
The English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has tweeted a link to a press release claiming he has leave the far-right group:
The anti-extremism organisation Quilliam claims it has helped English Defence League leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll to leave the group.
A press release from Quilliam claims the pair have decided to leave the group because they "feel they can no longer keep extremist elements at bay".
It cites Tommy Robinson as saying: "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.”