Alnwick school cancels visit of EDL ex-leader Tommy Robinson

The controversial visit of the founder of the English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson to Duchess’s Community High School later this month has been cancelled.

Mr Robinson’s planned tour of schools across the country, including Alnwick on Monday, to lecture children on tolerance has caused anger among parents.

The 30-year-old has convictions for assault, drug and public order offences, but left the far-right EDL party, which he led, in October.

He has since teamed up with the Quilliam Foundation, a deradicalisation thinktank, and made a television programme with Muslim political commentator Mohammed Ansar as the pair attempted to build bridges between the two groups with opposing views.

He was due to speak with Usama Hasan, a senior researcher at Quilliam, at the school.

But the visit of Mr Robinson, a former football hooligan, which was announced in student newspaper The Alnwickist, published in the Gazette last month, has been blocked.

In the article, the school’s head of RE, Louis Spence was quoted as saying: “By inviting visitors as diverse as Tommy Robinson and Usama Hasan into schools, students are given the opportunity to rise to the challenges they will all face as adults in modern British society.

“There’s a moral courage in thinking through difficult issues, standing up for what you believe in, while still showing respect and humanity.

“If students can develop that capacity in any way, then this visit will have been worthwhile.”

In a Tweet last night, Mr Robinson (@TRobinsonNewEra) said: “My Twitter feed is non stop with disappointed kids from the school I was due to talk in.Be proud and stand up for what u believe in!”