Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the leader of the English Defence League and 52 others have been arrested in a dramatic police swoop as they travelled to London for an unofficial demonstration outside a mosque.
The far right extremists, including candidate for Bedfordshire Police Commissioner, Kev Carroll had hired trucks for the extremists to hide in as they attempted to reach their destination unnoticed.
The police were aware of the operation and stopped the vehicles and arrested the occupants.
“On the afternoon of Saturday, October 20, MPS officers arrested 53 people at various locations on motorways on the outskirts of London,” said a police spokesman, “the arrests formed part of an intelligence-led, pre-event investigation into a planned disturbance in east London on the same day.
“All 53 were males and they were arrested for conspiracy to cause public nuisance before being taken into custody at various locations in central and south London.
“Today, October 21, those arrested are being bailed pending further enquiries, on the condition they do not enter east London to demonstrate for a stipulated period of time.”
Yaxley-Lennon is being held on remand for entering the US illegally, for a recent demonstration in New York, until January 2013. This may be similar to the false identification he used to speak at a covert meeting of far right extremists in the European Parliament.
He also faces a charge of assault.