A drunken EDL supporter roughed up a Church of England bishop at a public rally in Yorkshire.

The Bishop of Pontefract was manhandled at what was scheduled as a peace rally in Wakefield town centre, West Yorkshire.

Bishop Tony Robinson had just come from mass to address 100 people at a march against the anti-Islam group when he was accosted

According to witnesses, the intruder was aged around 30, dressed in an English Defence League sweatshirt and reeked of booze.

"It was shocking," said eyewitness Sally Kincaid. "The bishop was just talking and suddenly this big guy came out from behind and started shouting about grooming. It was all quite surreal and he looked drunk.

"A few people got around him and he was handed over to the police."

Bishop Robinson told IBTimes UK that efforts had been made in the past to reach out to the EDL but had failed.

"They are not always keen to debate in a non-confrontational way. It seems to me that we should talk with people like the EDL to find out why they are angry and we have tried to do that with the EDL," he said.

"This showed there are people who just want to shout obscenities."

About 100 EDL supporters descended on Wakefield for an event that was opposed by a community coalition. A counter-demonstartion of around the same size was staged by an umbrella group called 'We are Wakefield.' Police made 11 arrests including some for breach of the peace.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said. "The arrests we made were focused on preventing persons provoking trouble. Our swift action ensured that the genuine protesters and the Christmas shoppers were kept safe and feeling safer."