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31 men jailed over EDL demonstration 'orgy of violence'

Thirty one men from across the UK have been jailed for between two years nine months to one year and two months for their part in disorder in English Defence League (EDL) demonstration. The men, aged between 18 and 59, were handed down sentences at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

The men were jailed for disorder. Credit: ITV News Central

Robin Allen, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“Those engaged in such reprehensible conduct paid little regard to what they were doing or who they were attacking, as during their orgy of violence, a number of their own EDL stewards, as well as police officers, were seriously injured."

More than 600 supporters of the EDL held a demonstration in the town centre on 29 September 2012.

'Insufficient evidence' to charge former EDL leaders

Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court, London, today. Credit: PA

Two former English Defence League leaders will not have to answer a charge of obstructing police after prosecutors deemed there was "insufficient evidence" against them.

Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and his second cousin Kevin Carroll were accused of trying to defy a ban on marching to the scene of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby via a major mosque.

The pair each denied a charge of obstructing police outside Aldgate East Tube station in east London on June 29.

When Yaxley-Lennon arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court to stand trail this morning, he discovered that the case had been discontinued.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was "insufficient evidence" to bring the case.

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Robinson left EDL because of 'extremist vultures'

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".

Robinson 'won't be public face for fascists'

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."

Tommy Robinson maintains that he does not hate Muslims. Credit: PA

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."

Ramadhan Foundation 'can't take EDL claim seriously'

The chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation has said he is sceptical of the leaders of the English Defence League leaving the group:

I met Tommy Robinson last week and during that meeting he indicted that he was leaving the EDL because he couldn't control the extremist group, impact on his family and wider legal cases he faces.

At no stage did he reject his previous disgusting attacks on Islam and Muslims or apologise to the British people for the millions wasted policing their protests.

I cannot take Tommy Robinson or Kevin Carroll's announcement seriously until they reject their fascist views on Islam and Muslims and would caution other organisations celebrating this announcement as a massive personal achievement.

– Mohammed Shafiq, Ramadhan Foundation Chief Executive

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English Defence League leaders 'quit group'

The anti-extremism organisation Quilliam claims it has helped English Defence League leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll to leave the group.

English Defence leaders Kevin Carroll (left) and Tommy Robinson Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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.”

Police arrest 20 during English Defence League rally

Police in Birmingham made 20 arrests today after bottles, cans and other missiles were hurled at officers during an English Defence League rally.West Midlands Police estimated that around 2,000 people attended the EDL demonstration and a counter-protest in the city centre.

People participate in an EDL march at Centenary Square in Birmingham. Credit: Press Association

More than 1,000 police officers took part in a major security operation to ensure public safety and prevent rival protesters from clashing, but sporadic disorder broke out soon after the start of the EDL event in Centenary Square.

At one point during a stand-off between EDL supporters and officers wearing riot gear, police dogs were deployed to quell an attempt to break through police lines into a building site.

Officers were also showered with broken glass, pieces of slate and other objects after EDL supporters, some wearing balaclavas, confronted police near the Hyatt Regency hotel.

EDL leaders Robinson and Carroll bailed

Two English Defence League (EDL) leaders arrested this morning as they attempted to visit the spot where Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered have been bailed.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson and his co-leader Kevin Carroll were detained by police on suspicion of obstructing officers outside Aldgate East station in east London as they attempted to stage what they claimed was a charity walk to Woolwich Barracks via the East London Mosque.

They were tonight bailed to return to a police station in August together with another two men who were arrested on suspicion of assault, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

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