Pegida UK

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Pegida United Kingdom
Pegida UK official logo.png
Formation2015 (attempted)
4 January 2016 (official)
FounderTommy Robinson
Founded atToddington, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Stop Islamisation
British nationalism
Paul Weston
Anne Marie Waters
Tommy Robinson
AffiliationsFortress Europe[1]
Robinson at a Pegida rally in Utrecht on 11 October 2015

Pegida UK was an anti-Islam group in the United Kingdom established by Tommy Robinson in 2016. It is named after the German group Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident, in German Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes (Pegida)).[2]

Following one attempted "Pegida UK" march in London in summer 2015 by ex-English Defence League (EDL) members, a second launch of the group was conducted on 4 January 2016 in a pub in Toddington, Bedfordshire, by Tommy Robinson. On the day of the launch, he stepped down to the role of "adviser". Paul Weston (the chairman of a specific political group, Liberty GB) was named leader and Anne Marie Waters (chairman of Sharia Watch) was named as a third member of Pegida UK's management team.[3]

Robinson said that he hoped Pegida UK would be different from the EDL,[4] that it would attract a more "middle-class" demographic, and would discourage the "loutish behaviour and alcohol-fueled violence" of the EDL. Robinson seeks a halt to Muslim immigration, the closure of sharia courts, a ban on the wearing of the burqa and a moratorium on mosque construction.[5]

Pegida UK's launch event was a march in Birmingham on 6 February 2016. It drew a crowd of approximately 200, fewer than the Pegida UK attempt of 2015, with a smaller counter-demonstration also taking place.[6]

By the end of 2016, the group had essentially disappeared. Its leading management had all moved on to other projects. Robinson soon after joined the Canadian right-wing news channel Rebel Media.[7] Weston went back to focusing on his political party Liberty GB, which then dissolved in order to join forces with Waters' For Britain party.[citation needed]

Pegida UK was not the group's only failure. Originating in Dresden, Germany, it had been trying to expand across the continent. In 2016, Pegida launch attempts failed to take off in Switzerland, Ireland, France, Austria, Denmark and Estonia.[8]


  1. ^ Gutteridge, Nick (28 January 2016). "Anti-Islam groups launch Europe-wide coalition pledging to defend 'Western civilisation'". Daily Express. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  2. ^ Lowe, Josh (5 February 2016). "Pegida U.K.: What does Tommy Robinson's 'Anti-Islam' group want?". Newsweek. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  3. ^ Parris-Long, Adam (4 January 2016). "Tommy Robinson hands over Pegida UK leadership to former Luton South parliamentary candidate Paul Weston". Luton Today — Luton News Herald & Post. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
    - Hamdi, Omar (23 December 2015). "As a Muslim comedian, I found having dinner with ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson strange but enlightening". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  4. ^ Bartlett, Jamie (4 December 2015). "Across Europe with Tommy Robinson: inside the new wave of anti-immigration protest coming soon to Britain". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Adrian (29 January 2016). "Tommy Robinson: The man behind the British version of Pegida". BBC News. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  6. ^ Day, Harvey (7 January 2016). "Tommy Robinson's Pegida UK group to be kept OUT of Birmingham city centre". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
    - Halliday, Josh (6 February 2016). "Pegida UK supporters stage anti-Islam silent march in Birmingham". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  7. ^ Halliday, Josh; Barr, Lois Beckett Caelainn (7 December 2018). "Tommy Robinson: from local loud mouth to international far-right poster boy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Over Before It's Begun?". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 18 June 2019.