Stephen Lennon

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Someone possibly named Tommy Robinson at Netherlands PEGIDA in 2015
Inventing "The Other"
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Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (November 27, 1982–), a.k.a. Stephen Lennon, a.k.a. Tommy Robinson, a.k.a. Paul Harris, is the founder and former leader of the far-right English Defence League, a group which he has since left.

Name self-confusion[edit]

For some time he operated under the pseudonym "Tommy Robinson," and, in June 2010, the antifascist site Hope not Hate claimed that his real name was Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.[1]

A couple of months later, the EDL, in a now-removed report on the group's official website, declared that his name was in fact Paul Harris:

Contrary to the left wing effluent that spews from the unpatriotic Anti-English, Anti-Democratic, Anti-Jew and Islamist loving ranks of the unwashed who seem to think they have 'exposed' Tommy we again laugh at their feeble attempts to cause him harm. In fact all they have done is actually put some poor innocent peoples lives at risk and for what? For the sake of their own egos? For the sake of the Islamists we protest against?
As the loony left celebrate we cant help but extinguish their party bonfire with this 'FACTUAL' information… The minds of the 'far left' are incredibly warped, so much so they care not for the safety of innocent peoples, nor do they care how idiotic they expose themselves to be. Still if they had a brain between them they could be dangerous, lets thank God for small blessings eh? At least Tommy, or should i say 'Paul Harris' has done the right thing and publicly admitted who he actually is, lets hope that is enough to save innocents from getting hurt.[2][3]

Another website critical of the EDL, One Million United, examined the claims and concluded that his name was indeed Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, not Paul Harris.[4] "Tommy Robinson" has since began publicly identifying himself as Stephen Lennon.

The above comments from the EDL website became incredibly ironic in October 2013, when Lennon went on a curious stalking session against Garry Moon, owner of the anti-EDL website EDLNews. Lennon looked up Moon in a telephone directory and found details about a completely different person who also happened to be named Garry Moon, and proceeded to post pictures of this individual's home on Twitter.[5]

Intense love for law and order[edit]

In June 2011 he was arrested in connection with a brawl at an EDL demonstration.[6] "Due to the ongoing harassment by the Police forces of the UK I have decided that as from this point in time there will no longer be any Police Liaison with any Police force at all levels, Division, Regional or National," he said.[7] The following month he was sentenced to twelve months of "community rehabilitation" for his front-line role in a fight between rival football hooligans, to which he responded that the country is a "police state."[8]

On 20 October 2012 Lennon was arrested on suspicion of possessing a false passport, and, after spending Christmas in jail,[9] was found guilty in January 2013.[10] He was released from prison the following February, under bail conditions keeping him away from his group.[11]

In November 2013, he was convicted of mortgage fraud[12] and sentenced in January 2014 to 18 months imprisonment.[13] He was released on parole in June 2014, again with conditions barring him from contact with the EDL.[14] Much of his sentence was spent in solitary confinement for his own protection.

Lennon is quick to stress that he doesn't hate all Muslims: "your{{sic]} pretty fit for a Muslim," he said in one Twitter posting. "I don't wanna get rid of all Muslims, least of all pretty girls like yourself," he commented in another. Both of the recipients of these messages were fifteen year old girls.[15]

Departure from the EDL[edit]

In October 2013 Lennon announced that he was leaving the EDL. ""I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic idea", he said. "I believe that the revolution needs to come from within the Islamic community and they need to stand up."[16] Four years later he punched a migrant in the face and got into a fight with masked left-wing men.[17][better source needed]

Pegida UK[edit]

Stephen, while meeting with Pegida and other groups in the Czech Republic, told reporters that a serious Pegida movement would begin in the UK with him largely involved that would be more than the existing small British Pegida groups. Lennon stated that the group would have far less drinking and fighting with the far left than the EDL[18] Tommy Robison did indeed speak at Pegida rallies in the UK.[19] Stephen revealed Islamists were after him trying to kill him with IEDs and guns, a week later Lennon was found unconscious after an attack outside a nightclub and had to be hospitalized.[20][21] Lennon, when asked how Pegida would actually be different from the drunken mob known as the English Defense League, replied the banners would say Pegida instead of EDL.[22]

Twitter ban[edit]

In March 2018, Stephen was banned from Twitter for breaking their "hateful conduct" policy.[23]


  1. "The BNP past of the EDL leader" Searchlight, via HOPE not hate website. (Archived, screenshot).
  4. Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
  7. Screenshot of Facebook message
  8. English Defence League founder convicted of leading street brawl
  10. EDL Leader Lennon Jailed For Passport Offence
  21. ref>
  23. Tommy Robinson banned from Twitter. BBC News.