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'Gory opportunist' Tommy Robinson accused of exploiting UK attack

Far-right activist rushed to scene of central London attack as injured were still being treated and declared 'This is Islam, this is an act of jihad'
Tommy Robinson, the former English Defence League leader, at the scene of the Westminster attack

British far-right activist Tommy Robinson rushed to the scene of the attacks in London on Wednesday that left several dead and injured - and was immediately accused of exploiting the victims of the attack for propaganda purposes.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was seen on his own Twitter feed in a cab on his way to the scene, only minutes after news reports broke in the media.

He was in Westminster as the full scale of the attack was still unfolding, where he told a Middle East Eye reporter: “This is Islam, this is an act of jihad.

“We have had 450 former ISIS [the Islamic State group] fighters been allowed to return to our country,” he added.

Middle East Eye asked Robinson why he was so quick to call it a foreign terror attack. “Because I don’t have my head up my arse,” he replied.

Critics immediately accused Robinson of using the attacks as a way to spread anti-Muslim propaganda.

Robinson claimed that the government and security services would have knowledge of who the attacker was, adding: “He will have been radicalised in a prison or on the streets of the UK with the full knowledge of our government and the security services."

And he alleged that the attack was following guidance from the Islamic State and its online Inspire magazine.

Robinson, the former leader of the anti-Muslim English Defence League (EDL), continued to harangue a crowd of people who had gathered near the scene of the attack.

He quit the EDL, which was known for its aggressive street actions against immigrants and Islam, in 2012 before founding the UK branch of Germany’s anti-immigrant Pegida movement in December 2015.

Robinson's intervention came as Brendan Cox, whose partner, the MP Jo Cox, was murdered in June 2016 by a far right extremist, urged people not to let the attack "divide us" and sent his thoughts to the injured.