by Tash Shifrin
The man known as Alan Lake, a key strategist and funder behind the racist English Defence League (EDL) is out of his job at a major international development bank.
The news comes the week after another shadowy EDL strategist, Chris Knowles, was sacked by Leeds council.
Lake, whose real name is Alan Ayling, masterminded the EDL’s strategy of bringing together football hooligan firms into an anti-Muslim army of racist street thugs.
He was suspended from his post as a database team manager at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in December last year after his real identity was exposed.
The powerful bank was set up by international treaty to fund development and privatisation schemes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The EBRD has now confirmed that Ayling’s employment “has ended”—and that he had not returned to the bank since his suspension last year.
Ayling was believed to earn around £70,000 a year plus bonuses in his post at the EBRD. But he is unlikely to be hard up following his exit.
He lives in a plush £500,000 flat in London’s prestigious Barbican development, and owns a second flat in nearby Bridgewater Square.
Until January last year, Ayling was a director of City investment fund Pacific Capital Investment Management, which was wound up last August.
And he has had a string of other company directorships, ranging from his 1980s data processing consultancy Lakerange—a possible source of his “Lake” alias—to the now-dissolved family firm Ayling Engineering.
As Alan Lake, he is a key figure in the shadowy network of far-right and anti-Muslim racist groups who call themselves “counter jihadists”.
He has been interviewed as a witness as part of the Norwegian police investigation into the massacre by fascist gunman Anders Behring Breivik.
Although Ayling denies having met Breivik, he has admitted meeting the deeply Islamophobic Norwegian blogger Fjordman—real name Peder Jensen—who is cited repeatedly in Breivik’s manifesto.
Ayling’s 4 Freedoms website is now his organisational hub. He has used the site to air predictions that the UK would fragment into “Islamic enclaves” in 20 to 30 years’ time and discuss the possibility of executing David Cameron, Nick Clegg and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
He also described Breivik’s massacre of 76 mainly young people as chickens “come home to roost”—remarks that led to his falling out with EDL leaders last year.
But it was at Ayling’s Barbican flat that the EDL was established in 2009, according to disaffected founder member Paul Ray.
The founding meetings brought the “counter jihadists” together with Ray, Stephen Yaxley Lennon—aka Tommy Robinson, the former BNP member who now leads the EDL leader—and his cousin Kevin Carroll.
Ayling had hosted and spoken at EDL demos. He has admitted funding the EDL, telling Norway’s TV2 channel: “I have given some money to help some EDL things happen.”