Thomas Mair found guilty of killing opposition Labour MP Jo Cox in run up to referendum on UK’s membership of the EU.
The British government has announced plans to ban a Neo-Nazi group that praised the killer of MP Jo Cox and calls for a “White Jihad”.
An order to proscribe National Action as a terrorist group was confirmed by Amber Rudd, the UK home secretary, on Monday.
“I am taking action to proscribe the neo-Nazi group National Action,” Rudd said, adding that involvement in the group would now be a criminal offence.
“National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it,” she said.
The self-declared National Socialist group posted several messages on Twitter backing Thomas Mair, the white supremacist who murdered Cox at her constituency a week before the vote to leave the European Union.
“Vote Leave, don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain. Jo Cox would have filled Yorkshire with more subhumans,” the tweet posted shortly after the incident read.
Mair was handed a life sentence in November for the killing, which the judge presiding over the case described as an act of “White Supremacist terrorism”.
The group says on its website that it does not sanction or endorse acts considered terrorism, but individuals linked to organisation have been linked to racist violence before.
In 2015, neo-Nazi and National Action member Zack Davies was convicted of attempted murder after trying to kill an Asian man at a supermarket in Wales.
Another of its members, Joshua Bonehill-Paine, has received multiple convictions for harassing Jewish individuals, including the MP Luciana Berger, with anti-Semitic tweets.
Unlike other far-right groups, National Action makes no attempt to disguise its Neo-Nazi leanings.
At its demonstrations, black-clad, mask-wearing supporters raise fascist salutes and carry banners that read “Hitler was right”.
In an essay on its website that cites tracts from Hitler’s Mein Kampf, the group calls on British youths to launch a ‘White Jihad’ instead of wallowing “in their own nihilism”.
The organisation also runs a Miss Hitler competition, where female supporters are interviewed about a number of Neo-Nazi concerns, including which public figure they would like to “hypothetically” kill.
Those mentioned included Nigel Farage, the populist UK Independence Party politician; Boris Johnson, British foreign secretary; and an unidentified woman described as a “rat-faced b****”.
“I would kill politics [sic] and their supporters,” read one reply to the question, while one contestant struggled to answer as she said Britain and Europe were “infested with so many traitors”.
The group welcomed US President-elect Donald Trump’s election victory in November and has posted pictures of its activists posing with a White Power poster bearing the Republican politician’s image.
Another picture referring to Trump’s victory shows activists holding the Confederate flag with the caption “Hate won, get over it”.
Paul Jackson, an expert at Northampton University on far-right groups, said the move to ban National Action was a sign that the government was getting tough on the far right.
“There seems to be a clear message being sent out by this development that the government is trying to do more to tackle extreme right-wing activity,” Jackson said, before cautioning that proscribing such groups was not the most effective way of tackling the issue.
“I am not sure that a ban is the best way to achieve this.
“What is really needed is more efforts being put into training for people in the state sector who may encounter the extreme right in one way or another, from teachers to doctors to the police themselves,” Jackson said.
“Secondly, it is important that the current extreme right groups are effectively monitored.”
Jackson said June’s Brexit referendum vote and Trump’s victory in the United States had empowered the far right but their rise has been brewing for years.
“More resources are needed to help tackle this issue, before newer organisations start to pose a more significant threat to public safety,” he said.