A COACH driver who filmed Tommy Robinson battering a man at Ascot has disputed the ex-EDL leader’s claims he was acting in “self-defence”.
A coach dashcam captured the moment the right-wing activist – real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon – punched the man to the ground in a fit of anger.
Robinson had later claimed he was acting in self-defence after being attacked by man.
But coach driver Asif Idris, who had driven Robinson to the racecourse, told the Mirror the ex-EDL leader had thrown the first punch before fleeing the scene without his wife and friends.
The 40-year-old said the clash started as a verbal disagreement, which was escalated by Robinson who appeared “pretty sober”.
He said: “It was not self-defence. Maybe they [Tommy and the unidentified man] were having a disagreement and I can’t say if the man had been aggressive to him earlier in the evening, but when they were in front of my coach it was Tommy who started the violence.
“He did not get hit in the back of the head or dragged from the coach. That did not happen.”
Mr Idris told the paper Robinson had been saying “f*** off” before he apparently threw the first punch.
He then reportedly “kept punching” even when the man had fallen to the ground.
The victim was reportedly left bloodied and unable to walk after the bust up at about 7pm yesterday.
Video footage showed Robinson – wearing a black suit and shirt – appear to throw about seven punches at the man before three others step in to separate the pair.
Robinson tweeted a statement today saying he had been acting in “self defence”.
He said: ”This is regarding an edited video being shared online regarding Tommy.
“Tommy was at the races with his wife. This man followed them both to their coach abusing them.
“Tommy and his wife went to board the coach but the man was not finished he attacked Tommy and dragged Tommy from the coach.
“The man followed, instigated and attacked Tommy when he was with his wife. Tommy acted in self defence.”
Earlier in the day Robinson had shared a video of himself on a coach travelling to the event.
This week Piers Morgan called Robinson a “bigoted lunatic stirring up hatred” as he appeared on Good Morning Britain.
As Robinson pulled out a copy of the Koran, Piers blasted him, saying: “Show some damn respect for people’s religious beliefs.
“You’re sounding like a complete lunatic. You’re sounding like a bigoted lunatic.
“You’re stirring up hatred. You’re being a complete disgrace.”