London

EDL founder charged with Muslim poppy protest assault

Muslims protesters burn a poppy at a Muslims against Remembrance Day protest on Exhibition Road in London
Image caption The Muslim protesters shouted "British soldiers burn in hell"

The founder of the English Defence League (EDL) has been charged with assaulting a police officer during a confrontation with Islamic protesters.

Stephen Lennon, 27 of Luton, was held as the Muslims Against Crusades group burnt poppies in Kensington, west London, during a two-minute silence to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day.

Five other members of EDL have been arrested on suspicion of affray.

Two Muslim protesters have been arrested for public order offences.

As the clock struck 1100 GMT, Islamic protesters burned a model of a poppy and chanted "British soldiers burn in hell".

One police officer was taken to hospital with a head injury sustained during clashes as about 50 men linked to EDL were kept separate as they shouted abuse.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said Mr Lennon had been released on bail and would appear at West London Magistrates' Court on 22 November.

He said four other men, aged 41, 42, 19 and 18, all arrested on suspicion of affray, had been released on bail until mid-December.

The spokesman added that the two members of Muslims Against Crusades, aged 25 and 30, had been bailed until mid-December pending further inquiries.

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