UK
16/05/2012 12:31 BST | Updated 16/05/2012 14:04 BST

EDL's Tommy Robinson Attracts Twitter Hatred After Racially Abusing 'Underage' User

The leader of the far-right English Defence League has come under fire after racially abusing a girl who told him she was 15-years-old on Twitter.

Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, told Twitter user 'Asianish' "You're pretty fit for a Muslim". Defending herself, she wrote back "I'm 15 and you've got the cheek to call Muslims paedos."

Robinson's Twitter abuse comes after the EDL boss highlighted the race of the Asian men convicted in Rochdale grooming case, linking their Pakistani and Afghan origins to the sexual exploitation of under-age girls.

The men involved in the grooming ring initially went unprosecuted by police, despite one of the sex gangs' victims informing officers as long ago as 2008.

A number of community leaders and senior politicians blamed officers' inaction on the race of the men convicted, arguing that the men were not prosecuted because police were wary of stoking racial tension in towns already struggling to cope with multiculturalism.

Robinson has been associating criminal sex cases with race on his Twitter feed, posting links to various convictions. After his abuse of 'Asianish', Twitter users have rounded on Robinson with the EDL leader raging back with increasing viciousness and racial abuse.

The EDL leader tried to popularise his agenda on Twitter a month ago, with the hashtag #creepingsharia. Intended to whip up islamophobia, users of the social media site reclaimed the hashtag to show exactly what they thought of Robinson and his agenda.

He tweeted a complaint about a picture of a "mosque" on the Twitter front page (it was actually the Taj Mahal), highlighting the image as another example of #creepingsharia.

However, rather than stoke far-right feeling, the Luton-based activist unintentionally started a comedy twitter trend with #creepingsharia being blamed for everything from “algebra on the curriculum” to “no ham left in the fridge”.

However the current hatred stirred up after Robinson's attack on Asian-looking Twitter users is far from comic. After screenshots of the conversation between 'Asianish' and Robinson were posted on Facebook, one person commented

"Gotta hand it to Yaxley; when he shoots himself in the foot, he uses a cannon big enough to take off his whole leg."