LONDON — A judge in Britain on Friday sentenced an alleged member of a banned British neo-Nazi group to life in prison for planning to murder a UK lawmaker.
Jack Renshaw had pleaded guilty to buying a machete and intending to kill Labour Party lawmaker Rosie Cooper and threatening to slay a police officer.
Sky news reported that Renshaw appeared to give the Nazi salute as he was led out of the court while several supporters shouted “we are with you, Jack.”
High Court Judge Maura McGowan told Renshaw on Friday “this is a case in which only a sentence of life imprisonment can meet the appalling seriousness of your offending.”
Cooper said she hoped this was the last time a politician is threatened. “I believe today justice has been served. Not for me personally, but for every MP (member of parliament) and public servant, and for our democratic way of life which affords us the privilege of free speech, without fear of violent retribution.”
Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism as he went on trial alongside five other alleged members of the outlawed group National Action. All six deny belonging to the group.
Prosecutors say Renshaw planned to kill both Cooper and a police officer who had previously interviewed him about alleged race-hate offenses.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said Renshaw’s goal was “to kill for National Action and White Jihad,” and to “revenge himself on those he considered to be persecuting him.”
Far-right terrorist Jack Renshaw gives Nazi salute as he is jailed for plot to murder MP https://t.co/hCTGQJ3NR8
— Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) May 17, 2019
Prosecutors said the plot was approved by National Action, but foiled when a disenchanted member of the group reported it to an anti-racism organization.
The British government banned National Action in 2016, describing it as a “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic” neo-Nazi organization. The group had praised Thomas Mair, a far-right extremist who murdered Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox in 2016.