Cumbria

Tommy Robinson Barrow protest visit sparks criticism

Tommy Robinson Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Tommy Robinson (pictured here in January) attended a protest held at a retail park

A visit to Barrow by the English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson has been condemned by the local council and the town's MP.

Mr Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, attended a rally on Monday, held over the way police investigated allegations of sexual "grooming".

Last week, Cumbria police said a one-year investigation had failed to find evidence of a grooming gang.

The BBC has approached Mr Robinson for comment.

In a tweet Stephen Fell, the Conservative MP for Barrow, described it as a "deeply unhelpful intervention that will only increase tensions in our community at the worst possible time".

A statement from the Labour group of Barrow Borough Council said Mr Robinson's actions were "deplorable", and accused him of trying to "whip up trouble".

A petition calling for the National Crime Agency and the Independent office for Police Conduct to investigate how Cumbria Police conducted the grooming inquiry has now attracted more than 18,000 signatures.

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