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Moment Tommy Robinson 'punches man to the ground' at protest but claims he 'acted in self-defence'

This is the moment Tommy Robinson 'punches a man to the ground' at an Asian sex gang protest before telling police he 'acted in self-defence' after a man spat in his face and called him a 'racist p***k'.

The former English Defence League leader, 37, was detained after police received a report of an assault on a man at Hollywood Retail Park in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, shortly after 8.30pm on Thursday.

He is also being questioned in custody on suspicion of a public order offence, alongside a 43-year-old man from the West Midlands, a 47-year-old man from North Wales and a 28-year-old man from the Bedfordshire area.

Footage shows Robinson appearing to punch the man, who falls to the ground, with a person filming heard saying: 'Oh my God'.  

Tommy Robinson, pictured left, 37, was arrested for assault (two of the police officers, right) on Thursday evening but claimed he 'acted in self-defence' after a man spit in his face

The man is seen on the ground after appearing to be punched by Robinson, in the footage. Cumbria Police said 'officers are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed what happened'

The video does not show the moment the man is alleged to have spat in Robinson's face. After being punched, the man stands up while holding his bicycle.

Another clip shared on social media shows Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, filming himself and then police officers. 

He says 'here we go again' before greeting officers at the door. Robinson tells officers that a man approached him and called him a 'racist p***k' and spat in his face.

He adds: 'At this point I acted in defence. I didn't know if he had a knife or anything so I made sure he ended up on his bum.'

He had earlier spoken at a rally at a retail park in Barrow-in-Furness which was being held in support of a 19-year-old woman who alleges she was drugged and raped by a grooming gang. 

No-one has been charged after a year long police investigation concluded there was insufficient evidence.

The unnamed teenager is currently in custody awaiting a court hearing for an alleged breach of bail conditions after being charged with perverting the course of justice.

The former English Defence League leader was detained after police received a report of an assault on a man at Hollywood Retail Park in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (pictured)

Robinson, 37, claimed to be in the town filming a documentary about the allegations and addressed crowds that had gathered in a retail park.

In a statement issued on Friday, Cumbria Police said: 'Four men from outside the county were arrested last night following a report of an assault.

'Cumbria Police received a call reporting an assault on a man at Hollywood Retail Park, shortly after 8.30pm.

'Officers responded and arrested four men shortly afterwards in the Douglas Street area of Barrow.'

The force added: 'A 37-year-old man from the Bedfordshire area was arrested on suspicion of assault and a public order offence. All remain in police custody this morning.

'There were a number of people in the area at the time and officers are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed what happened or the moments immediately before or after.'

Robinson, pictured in January, has been arrested on suspicion of assault but told police he 'acted in self-defence' after a man spat in his face (file photo)

Cumbria Police previously stated that they had launched a year-long investigation into claims an organised gang had trafficked girls and young women across the north of England for sex.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Holden insisted in a video message last month that the joint-investigation with the National Crime Agency found no evidence of grooming gangs in Barrow.

An independent review team was called in to assess their handling of the investigation and safeguarding surrounding it.

The family of the woman at the centre of the abuse allegations condemned a previous visit to Barrow last week.

In a statement they said: 'We want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with us and we do not want him involved.

'We are a peaceful family, who condemns any form of racial hatred. We are appealing for calm from the good people of Barrow.

'Thank you again so much for all your support.'

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