A CANDIDATE in next month’s Basildon Council elections is launching a group opposed to “Islamic cultural extremism”.

Anne Marie Waters standing for UKIP in Laindon Park ward, is co-founder of action group Voice.

The group – Victims of Islamic Cultural Extremism – will launch when she interviews ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

A flyer for the launch party on May 11 describes the event as “a great night and great value”.

It states: “You’ve heard the interviews and watched the videos - now come along and listen to Tommy in person. Both he and Anne Marie will be available to answer your questions and to chat, too.”

The group states it aims to help victims of female genital mutilation and victims who are both Muslim and non-Muslim, citing historical sex abuse in Rotherham.

Mr Robinson was leader of the league until October 2013, when he quit amid concerns over the “angers of far-Right extremism”.

He was jailed for 18 months after admitting mortgage fraud in January 2014, and is banned from contacting members of the league until the end of his original sentence, this June, as a condition of his early release.

As well as standing for Basildon Council, Ms Waters is bidding to be an MP in Lewisham East.

Basildon Council’s Ukip group leader Linda Allport-Hodge said: “Ms Waters is interviewing Tommy Robinson on behalf of a think tank.

“Mr Robinson famously left the EDL in 2013, and since then has been working with the anti-extremism think tank the Qulliam Foundation to counter extremism of all kinds.

“Recently, he was responsible for revealing the plans of a Tory MP candidate who was trying to create a fake anti-Mosque demo.

“His is an interesting voice, but if to interview him is to sympathise with the league maybe the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times and others should also be castigated, as they have all interviewed him.”

Ms Waters had not responded to the Echo’s invitations to comment .