Tommy Robinson
Tommy Robinson pictured by our reporter at last month's Woolwich protest [IBTimes UK/Dominic Gover]

The leader of the English Defence League has admitted his movement contains racists - but insists it is no worse than the Metropolitan Police.

Tommy Robinson claimed that the EDL was neither racist nor far-right, and does not want to force Muslims out of Britain - even though it has organised a number of aggressive protests since the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in May.

Robinson, real name Stephen Lennon, was taking part in a discussion with senior Muslim leader Fayaz Mughal on LBC Radio to discuss racial tension in Britain, and specifically the response to Rigby's murder in the London suburb of Woolwich.

When Mughal attempted to link the EDL with other far-right groups, Robinson interjected "we're not far-right".

"I'll admit there is racism in the EDL. I don't feel good about it. We've got golfers in the EDL [but] it's not a golf society.

"We're not a racist organisation. There's racists in the Metropolitan Police."

Robinson, who adopted his pseudonym in homage to a Luton Town football hooligan and spent 12 months in prison for assaulting an off-duty police officer, told radio show host Nick Ferrari he had received hundreds of violent threats on Twitter.

One read: "Tommy, I'm going to get your family, burn their faces, cut their heads off. Your time's coming, you white honky."

"I'm going to get your wife and your daughter. I'm going to kill your mum and light your house on fire. You see this knife, have a good look, it's what's going through your throat," he claimed another said.

Robinson continued: "I've had hundreds upon hundreds of these. No-one's been arrested for this. The police refused to do anything about this.

Equal rule of law

"I went into Bedfordshire police station and said 'here's a threat to cut up my children, what are you going to do about it?' They're not going to do anything. Whereas someone says a word against Islam this 'tell mama' organisation gets solicitors and lawyers.

"I had Bedfordshire Police interview me over tweets I sent that are not racial or religious. They are just facts about Islam and I am getting investigated by the police, whereas none of these tweets are.

"There's a two-tier system. The rule of law has to be implemented equally, across all communities."

Robinson refused to support the EDL's use of chants such as "who the f**k is Allah" during recent protests against Islamic extremism, but said: "I understand it. Every time we hear Allah Akbar, it is to do with someone getting butchered or murdered.

"It [the chanting] is not really religious or racial - it's anger and frustration."

Robinson said the sex grooming gangs made up of Asian men would have escaped justice in Oxford and Rochdale had it not been for the EDL.

Ferrari contested that point and cited the huge police operation involved in each case.

Robinson said: "Muslim paedophile gangs weren't being smashed until the EDL formed."

"We don't want Muslims to leave this country. But we do want them to understand how terrified we are of certain aspects of their ideology that needs to reform."