National Action: 'Leader of neo-Nazi terrorist group' charged with encouragement to murder Labour MP

Rosie Cooper, the Labour MP for West Lancashire, thanks police for 'keeping me safe'

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Thursday 26 October 2017 16:36 BST
Rosie Cooper
Rosie Cooper (Getty)

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The alleged leader of a neo-Nazi terrorist group has been charged with calling on followers to murder a Labour MP.

Rosie Cooper, who represents West Lancashire, confirmed she was the subject of alleged "encouragement to murder" by Christopher Lythgoe.

"I would like to thank everyone involved in this case, especially the counter-terrorism police, for keeping me, my staff and the public safe," she said.

Mr Lythgoe, of Warrington, was one of 11 suspects arrested during a crackdown on National Action in September.

The organisation became the first far-right group to be banned in the UK last year and its aliases Scottish Dawn and NS131 have since been proscribed.

Mr Lythgoe, 31, has also been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, alongside Garron Helm, of Seaforth, Matthew Hankinson, of Newton-Le-Willows, Andrew Clarke, of Paddington and Michal Trubini, of Warrington.

A 22-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with membership of National Action as well as the intention of committing acts of terrorism and threats to kill.

The defendants have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

National Action was outlawed in December, with the Government citing its “virulently racist, antisemitic and homophobic” ideology.

As revealed by The Independent, it then split into regional factions that aimed to evade authorities by operating under new names.

Two other aliases – Scottish Dawn and NS131 – were banned last month, making membership a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.

National Action promoted the idea that Britain will inevitably see a violent “race war”, calling for MPs to be killed after the murder of Jo Cox and being linked to a pipe bomb plot.

The group was headquartered in a converted warehouse in Warrington, which included a training gym and office.

Security services have been warning over a rising terror threat in the UK emanating from both Isis and other Islamist groups, and the far-right.

Speaking at a security summit on Wednesday, Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) counter-terror division, said there had been an increase in arrests for terror suspects identifying themselves as from “white” ethnic groups.

There has also been a stark increase in the number of right-wing extremists referred to the Government’s anti-radicalisation programme, now making up almost a third of those being monitored by Channel.

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