A new wave of infighting and backbiting is engulfing the leadership of the English Defence League.
At the centre of the growing discontent is the claim that EDL founder Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Paul Harris, is lining his own pocket through the sale of merchandise.
We have reported on these rumours for quite some time but now they have exploded publicly. A recent EDL meeting in West Yorkshire, shortly after their failed protest in Bradford, descended into recriminations and frustration at the Luton-based leadership.
Tommy Robinson hit back furiously. “Who do people think they are when they slate others who have done nothing but put their hearts, their souls, their time and relentless effort into the defence of our country, much to the annoyance of their families, their partners and even themselves?
“And what do they get other than a constant barrage of unwarranted abuse, hostility and fabrications propagated to inflame those hostilities?”
He went on: “So I’ve made millions from merchandise have i? Iv skimmed monies from the EDL movement and basically shit on our grass roots members making a living off it? Im supposedly parasiting off EDL success to line my own pockets am i?
“How fucking sad are these people?”
And he concludes: “Seriously these so called and self styled “EDL Members” need to take a good long look at themselves and see the harm they are causing, to divide is to conquer but i know that sometimes something has to be broken so it can be fixed. People who need to break away because of rumour, hearsay, and lies are welcome to leave, i only want real people with the best intentions for this movement involved. I have no time for political platitudes, for massaging egos, for babysitting or wet nursing so called “members” who have hissy fit tantrums, members who are the cause of the majority of strife within the movement.”
The organiser of the West Yorkshire meeting was John ‘Snowy’ Shaw, one of the two EDL members who staged the Dudley rooftop protest. Stung by Tommy Robinson’s attack, he meekly rolled over like a sad puppy.
“I said two things on Saturday that were passed onto me that I now know 100% are totally untrue, firstly that Tommy had made thousands of pounds out of EDL and secondly that Kevin didn't use his real daughter in the documentary. I would like to offer my most sincere apology to both these men for bringing their good names into disrupt, by repeating these lies that were brought to my attention instead of what I should of done and spoke to them personally. That was a grave error on my part and believe me or not I never went to that meeting with any intention of saying those two things and regretted them when I did, we are all human and we make mistakes I should know I have made plenty. I feel that some people have used my passion and commitment to the cause to manipulate me for their own agenda, maybe the fact that I am fanatical about EDL was my down fall.”
He concluded: “I don't now or have never wanted to cause a division within EDL, I only want what's best for the cause.”
The problem for Snowy is that he has caused a division and despite the public apology Tommy Robinson is not in the mood to forgive.
Nick Lowles, Hope not Hate.