AN Islamaphobic group has reportedly called off a planned Harrow demonstration due to the start of its founder's trial.
The English Defence League (EDL) had been due to protest against Halal meat being served in schools outside Harrow Civic Centre, in Station Road, on January 15.
But forum pages for the group say the event has been canceled because of the start of “Tommy's court case”.
Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, is facing a charge of assaulting a police officer following a counter-protest in Kensington against an Islamist group which burned poppies to mark Armistice Day.
He pleaded not guilty at West London Magistrates Court and his trial is due to start on January 12.
A quote on an EDL forum page attributed to Andy Bowie, national organiser, reads: “For those that did not see the cancellation notification, the EDL leadership have decided to cancel the planned Harrow demonstration in January.
“Tommy's court case is 3 days before the date set and then we have the big one in Luton on 5th February.”
Instead the group is urging its members to attend court to show their support for Mr Lennon.
Old rivals United Against Fascism (UAF) had been due to oppose the rally and had been considering using a multi-cultural festival, including Halal food as well as other cuisine from diverse communities, to show off Harrow's anti-racist credentials.
Sarah Cox, of the Brent and Harrow branch, said: “I'm delighted, I think that once again the people of Harrow would have shown them very clearly how unwelcome they are but given how chancy the weather can be in January I'm relieved.
“I have to say that from the start I had a feeling they were going to call it off. They've done quite a bit of this – they were calling demonstrations and then calling them off.
“They've got nothing to lose but people start mobilising against them and printing off leaflets.”