UPDATE: The Usdaw trade union has issued a revised statement. It reads as follows:
"The shopworker concerned is an Usdaw member and we are providing support and representation. Our member strongly maintains that he did not swear in the exchange. We welcome Selfridges decision to lift the suspension and we will continue to support our member on his return to work.”
Earlier, it had claimed that abuse had been directed at the shop assistant. The original story is below:
A Selfridge's shop assistant has disputed Tommy Robinson's account of the events that led to him refusing to serve a friend of the EDL leader.
The trade union representing the worker said he had only refused to serve Robinson's friend because "of the abuse being directed at him by the customer" and insisted he had not sworn himself.
The Usdaw union told HuffPost UK: "Our member strongly maintains that he only refused to serve because of the abuse being directed at him by the customer and he did not swear in the exchange."
This contradicts the version announced by Robinson on Twitter, which led to him being awarded a free dinner by the flagship department store and the shop worker being suspended.
- A beef with Selfridges: Store faces criticism for Robinson's free lunch
Selfridges has lifted the suspension imposed on the worker, saying he would return to his job "in due course".
In his account of the row, Robinson said his friend had been told to “f*** off” on Monday, whilst visiting the London retailer's flagship store with a friend to buy a pair of jeans.
The EDL leader, who filmed the incident, said he challenged the assistant, saying: "You won’t serve my friend because he’s friends with me... and I’m in the EDL."
The assistant can be heard replying: "You can put me on the camera all you want mate, but I’m not serving you," before walking off.
The episode sparked a fierce debate, with Selfridges facing some criticism for its willingness to apologise and the steak dinner it gave to Robinson and his friend.
Usdaw said: "The shopworker concerned is an Usdaw member and we are providing support and representation."We welcome Selfridges' decision to lift the suspension and we will continue to support our member on his return to work.”