Tommy Robinson has said he left the English Defence League (EDL) after realising the organisation had become "part of the problem" in his quest against Islamic extremism, rather than a solution.
Mr Robinson and Kevin Carroll, who set up the controversial group in 2009, announced their withdrawal from the EDL today.
In press conference after the announcement, Mr Robinson said while he wants to lead a revolution against Islamist ideology, he does not want to lead a revolution against Muslims.
The former EDL leader told journalists he believed his organisation sparked debate and "had to happen", and claimed he does not "hate Muslims".
Mr Robinson and Mr Carroll announced their departure from the EDL through counter-extremism think tank Quilliam, saying they had decided to leave because they can no longer keep extremist elements at bay.
The 30-year-old, from Luton, said: "I believe what has happened with the English Defence League has had to happen.
"I believe the debate has had to be had, and I believe that for the last four years I have seen it as part of the solution.
"I believe the under-swell and the feeling has had to get out there.
"I've then become of the belief that progressing, instead of being part of the solution, it may become part of the problem, which is not what I've wanted."
Mr Robinson said he made his decision after spending 18 weeks in jail, during which time he could "evaluate everything, think about everything".
He said while he believed each protest was a "cry for help from Middle England", he disagreed with some of the far-right elements of his organisation.
"I don't hate Muslims," he said.
"I have a passion to combat Islamist ideology.
"I want to lead a revolution against Islamist ideology, but I don't want to lead a revolution against Muslims.
"I despise Nazis as much as I despise Islamists."
The EDL, started in response to a demonstration by Muslim extremists as soldiers marched through Luton, has become infamous for street protests across the country, often resulting in violence as its members clashed with opposing groups such as Unite Against Fascism.
Mr Robinson has hit the headlines repeatedly, after being arrested several times, as well as voicing his controversial views during marches across the country, and on television interviews, including one with the BBC in the wake of the death of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich earlier this year.
Quilliam, which calls itself the "world's first counter-extremism think tank", said it is helping the former EDL leader, who also goes by the name Stephen Lennon, move away from the group and put his energy into countering extremism.
It called for other members of the EDL to follow in his footsteps, and for Islamist extremist leaders to also leave their respective groups.
Chairman and co-founder Maajid Nawaz said: "As well as being a very positive change for the United Kingdom, this is a very proud moment for Quilliam.
"This represents not a change but a continuation for us, as challenging extremism of all kinds forms the basis of our work.
"We have been able to show that Britain stands together against extremism regardless of political views and hope to continue supporting Tommy and Kevin in their journey to counter Islamism and neo-Nazi extremism."