Politicians warn "far right threat remains" despite Tommy Robinson's split from EDL
Tower Hamlets policiticians have welcomed news Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll have left the English Defence League but say celebrations are premature.
The duo quit the far right group on Tuesday, with Robinson saying he would pursue non-violent and democratic means to challenge Islamist extremism.
He also claimed there were fascists and racists infiltrating the EDL.
Robinson told a press conference: "Am I willing to be the public face for them? No I'm not.
"I believe that the revolution needs to come from within the Islamic community and they need to stand up. And I believe this is a step forward not a step back."
The announcement came just a month after the EDL marched on east London, leading to around 160 arrests of far right supporters and anti fascists.
The Labour Party in Tower Hamlets said in a statement, while it supported the resignation, the problem was not just about "two men at the top".
And its candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said it was still not clear what the future would be without Robinson and Carroll in the EDL.
"This signal is welcome but we need to see something more substantial before concluding that real change has happened," said Mr Biggs.
"The history of far right groups is that they often splinter and collapse but that another then emerges, so we should assume a very real threat remains."
Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Sirajul Islam, added: "Whilst they were the spearhead of the organisation, Labour's opposition to the EDL was never just about the two men at the top, it is about challenging the racist and divisive agenda at the heart of the EDL.
"We will remain vigilant against all who threaten the stability and cohesion of our community."
Current mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, also supported the news but added Robinson and Carroll should do more to make up for past disruption.
"What is needed now is a call from both individuals for the EDL to be completely disbanded in its entirety and for people to be held account for the mayhem and violence that has traditionally followed in the wake of their marches," said Mayor Rahman.
"Our message to them is that Britain has changed. People will no longer tolerate racism and fascism, wherever it attempts to manifest itself, whether on the streets, or on public platforms."