A British man accused of being a member of a white supremacist neo-Nazi group admitted yesterday buying a machete with the intention of killing an elected Member of Parliament (MP). Jack Renshaw, was one of six alleged members of the far-right extremist group National Action appearing at London's Old Bailey court.
All six denied membership of National Action, which was banned in 2016 following the murder of Jo Cox, an MP from the opposition Labor Party, in a frenzied street attack by a Nazi-obsessed loner. But just as the trial was about to start, Renshaw pleaded guilty to a charge of preparing a terrorist act by purchasing a machete for the purpose of killing Rosie Cooper, another Labor MP.
Renshaw also admitted threatening another man with a view to his killing a female police officer, believing that the murder would take place. In the event, it did not happen.
One of the other defendants, Christopher Lythgoe, pleaded not guilty to a charge that he endorsed the planned murder of Cooper on behalf of National Action. Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said Renshaw was undeniably planning violent actions with the blessing of Lythgoe, "actions which involved politically and racially motivated murder".
"National Action has since 2013 engaged in a campaign of virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic propaganda through which it sought to stir up a hate war against ethnic minorities and others it perceived as race traitors," Atkinson told the jury.
Jo Cox was the first British lawmaker killed in office in a quarter century. Cox had been a prominent voice arguing for Britain to remain in the EU during a divisive and often angry referendum campaign that focused heavily on the issue of immigration. She had also urged Britain to take in more refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. The killing of Cox by a white nationalist terrorist indicates growing violent white supremacy trends, violence from far-right extremism and neo-Nazi groups across the country. As the number of white Britons arrested on terrorism-related offences increases, anti-Muslim hate crimes have skyrocketed by more than 500 percent following the May 22 concert suicide bombing in Manchester, according to local police.