It doesn’t seem too long since Tommy Robinson was inspiring some (including me) to hope his views had changed under the influence of Quilliam and Anne Marie Waters was making a bid to stand as a Labour PPC in Brighton. But now both have apparently joined forces with Paul Weston in a British launch of PEGIDA.
The group, whose name is a German acronym standing for Patriotic Europeans Against The Islamisation Of The West, has been accused in some quarters of being a far-right hate group.
But Mr Robinson looked to distance it from both the British National Party and the EDL, retweeting a message from a supporter saying it is “completely wrong” to suggest the three are related.
PEGIDA has projected a rather more mainstream, or genteel, image than either the EDL or the BNP, it is true, although it certainly attracts support from the unambiguous far-right.
But I’m not sure what the point is in trying to distance PEGIDA from the EDL and BNP if it is going to be led by Paul Weston. The Express reports that he is controversial because he was arrested on suspicion of racial hatred for quoting the words of Winston Churchill. More relevant perhaps is his wish to see Muslims banned from public office.
Here’s more on the news from Weston’s LibertyGB.