Founder of EDL arrested

12 November 2010, 12:36 | Updated: 12 November 2010, 13:11

The founder of the English Defence League has been charged with assaulting a police officer during clashes that saw Islamic protesters burn poppies during Armistic Day.

27-year old Stephen Lennon, of Layham Drive, Luton, was held by police in Kensington, west London.

Five others associated with the EDL were also arrested as members of Muslims Against Crusades burned remembrance poppies.

Two Islamic protesters, aged 30 and 25, were arrested for public order offences after the poppies were set alight during the two minute silence. Parents of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan condemned the inflammatory protest by the hard-line group.

As the clock struck 11am the Islamic protesters burned a model of a poppy and chanted "British soldiers burn in hell''.

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

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

He said four other men, aged 41, 42, 19 and 18, all arrested on suspicion of affray, were released on bail until mid-December. It is not yet known what happened to a fifth man who was held on suspicion of possession of class A drugs.

The spokesman added that the two members of Muslims Against Crusades had been bailed until mid-December pending further inquiries. The Muslims Against Crusades website includes graphic images of children wounded in warfare and the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib.