London

EDL founder Stephen Lennon's police assault charge dropped

  • 12 January 2011
  • From the section London
Stephen Lennon
Stephen Lennon will face a different charge, the CPS said

The founder of the English Defence League (EDL) will no longer face a charge of assaulting a police officer.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped the accusation against Stephen Lennon, 27, of Luton, Bedfordshire, after new evidence emerged.

The CPS said Mr Lennon would now face an offence under the Public Order Act.

Mr Lennon was arrested as members of the Muslims Against Crusades group burned a poppy during a two-minute silence on Armistice Day in London.

A police officer suffered a head injury during the clashes in Kensington, west London, as about 50 men linked to the EDL were kept away from the protesters.

Five other people associated with the right-wing organisation were arrested and two Muslim protesters were held on suspicion of public order offences.

Two men, aged 30 and 26, have since been charged with public order offences and are due to go on trial later this year.

The CPS and the Metropolitan Police were unable to say immediately if the remaining five would face charges.

'A farce'

The CPS said Mr Lennon had not yet been formally charged with the new offence.

Mr Lennon described this potential new charge as being "out of a Christmas cracker" and said he would deny it.

He said: "This is a joke, a farce. It completely shows they are trying to pin anything they can on me.

"I will plead not guilty to the public order. I was trying to prevent a crime of burning poppies.

"I was trying to do the police's job because they failed to keep the rule of law on the streets of London."

The Metropolitan Police said it would not be commenting on Mr Lennon's remarks.

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