It's been a rather turbulent 24 hours for the EDL and its leadership following the revelations in the Times newspaper that one of its founding fathers Richard Price is a convicted paedophile.
Last night a hastily cobbled together statement was released by the EDL informing its membership that Price was arrested by West Midlands police back in October 2009.Police seized his computer along with various other items and following analysis it was discovered Price had a number of indecent images of children held on his computer.
The EDL claim Price had no idea how these images appeared on his PC and claim the police told Price that if he pleaded guilty to possessing the images he would be quietly put on the sex offenders register without public knowledge. If however he pleaded not guilty a public trial would take place complete with media coverage.
The EDL try to convince us (badly) that following legal advice and despite his claims of innocence Price had no choice but to plead guilty in June 2010 at Birmingham Crown Court of making four indecent images of children, and possessing cocaine and crack cocaine. He was banned from owning a computer for a year, given a three-year community supervision order and ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register for five years. According to the EDL leadership the Price story is a left wing conspiracy cooked up with the Times newspaper to stop the EDL from functioning.
It was also claimed that Price had never been part of the EDL leadership. More on that later.
Following the release of the statement on Facebook the majority of the EDL membership initially jumped to the defence of their paedophile comrade, however, a sizeable number were obviously not convinced. Comments were left doubting Price's version of the story.
One comment said " I'm quitting the EDL, it's sad but a great street movement now has a paedo in its leadership ranks. The leadership think he is innocent but he pleaded guilty if (sic) kids in sexual poses and being a crackhead... I will not be a member of an organisation that defends a guy who pleaded guilty himself to downloading kiddie sex pics"
As the number of comments attacking Price and the leadership grew, the EDL admins began to delete comments they found was no longer on message.
Following constant criticism the EDL removed their initial statement and said that an investigation was being launched into Richard Price's conviction and that a further statement would be released. However this in turn was deleted and there is currently no mention of Richard Price and his conviction at all on the EDL Facebook page.
As for the claims that Richard Price was never part of the EDL leadership, Tommy Robinson obviously has a short memory.
In a statement released by Tommy Robinson himself back in June 2010 said " The EDL have only this "Leadership" just for the record....Myself, Trevor Kelway, Marshy, Jack Smith, Joel Titus and Richard Price, we are the earliest founding members."
Can the EDL leadership dig themselves out of this hole? Only time will tell.
Hope not hate
Thanks to NewsHound for image link. Full-size image with captured EDL chat here.