The former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), who will help launch the UK branch of Pegida this year after denouncing the EDL, seemed to admit that the two far-right groups are essentially the same, differing only in name.
Robinson has very publicly denounced his previous links with the EDL, calling the aggression and booze culture of their marches wrong, but "necessary" in an interview with Channel 4 News.
In 2013 he announced he was leaving the EDL in a joint conference with think tank Quilliam. Robinson later told police he would help with their investigations into the extremist group.
He has since praised Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident), after seeing demonstrations in Germany:
There’s no alcohol or aggression, they have middle class support.
Pegida UK have planned their first demonstration for 6 February, which has been described in the Facebook event as:
A peaceful silent walk in conjunction with several other European countries on the theme Save Our Country, Save Our Culture, Save Our Future.
Robinson told the Independent in December that he would speak at the launch of Pegida UK in the new year:
I’ve agreed to talk at the launch and give advice. It’s new to them, but I have lots of experience.
On Twitter, Robinson was recently asked how the rally would differ from those of his former group, whom he had denounced:
Clear messaging, Tommy.
i100 contacted Mr Robinson for clarification on his comment, to which he replied:
I suggest you look properly at my Twitter account. When you click on the link supplied the page comes up with wallpaper that is not used by my Twitter any longer and hasn't been used by myself for quite a considerable time.
All the comments made are by people that are quite clearly of the 'left' persuasion which should speak volumes alone, there is not one comment from any of my supporters which I can assure you there would be.
I think it is safe to say you have been duped and fell for it.
The Twitter account from which the tweet was sent is the one featured on Mr Robinson's website, the website from which Mr Robinson replied to i100's message via a contact form...
The Twitter account has also featured videos which appear to be of Mr Robinson talking into a camera.
A spokesperson for Mr Robinson later contacted i100 to clarify:
Tommy is unable to respond directly to you and I apologise for the earlier confusion with a Team Tommy admin.
Tommy is at present in Europe but I have just spoken to him and he has the following to say 'I thought it was funny then and I still think it is funny now'
Obviously people cannot see the comment for what it is a pisstake of the lefties and need to get a sense or humour. You can quote me on that.