Wythenshawe’s MP along with religious and community leaders have united to oppose a planned event in Benchill today featuring the far right anti-muslim activist known as Tommy Robinson.
The former leader of anti-Islam group the English Defence League, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, says he will be at a barbecue in Wythenshawe tonight.
And seven religious leaders from Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities along with Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane have signed a statement saying Yaxley-Lennon is not welcome in the town.
The statement is signed by Wythenshawe’s Church of England Team Rector, Rev. Dr Stephen Edwards; Rev. Jane Henderson of the North Western Baptist Association; Roman Catholic Parish Priest for Wythenshawe, Fr Nick Kearn; Methodist Minister, Dave Warnock; Rev. Kate Gray from the United Reformed Church; Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky of the Menorah Synagogue and Imam Salim Astewani from Cheadle Mosque.
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has organised an event in Wythenshawe. Together with leaders from across our community I would like to share this statement. Yaxley-Lennon’s far-right political views are not welcome in our town and our great city. pic.twitter.com/fFmalxQX0Q
— Mike Kane (@MikeKaneMP) April 24, 2019
The statement says: “We are firm in our beliefs that that violence and racism have no place in our political discourse.
“Wythenshawe is a proud community. It is our community. It is a community that rejects hate and works tirelessly for the common good. A community with a bright future.
“Our community has a history of welcoming people. We have thriving Chagossian and Keralan communities, among others, living and working here. If we were to welcome this man we’d be dismissing the valued contribution these people have made to the area.
“As community leaders we call upon our communities to reject the politics of division and hate. Yaxley-Lennon’s far right political views are not welcome in our town and our great city.”