Labour MP calls for Britain First to be banned as a terrorist organisation

A Labour MP has called on the Home Secretary to ban the far-right Christian group Britain First as a “terrorist organisation” following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a white supremacist, The Indpendent post reports.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, said the House of Commons should consider proscribing Britain First as a terrorist organisation and prevent them from standing in elections, which would prevent the far-right Christian group from holding meetings.

Ms Haigh said: “Can we have a debate about whether Britain First should be proscribed as a terrorist organisation and banned from standing in democratic elections?”

David Lidington, the Leader of the House, replied that Ms Haigh’s request would be reported to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, saying: “I can’t offer a debate. As you probably know, the Home Office brings forward orders for the proscription of particular organisations but must do so on the basis of evidence.

“There have been cases in the past where organisations have been so proscribed, have gone to the courts and successfully won a judicial review to say that the evidence on which that action had been taken was not sufficient.

“So, I’ll make sure that your proposal is reported to the Home Secretary but there has to be clear evidence of terrorist involvement for the terrorist proscription to be applied.”

Last Wednesday, white supremacist and neo-nazi Thomas Mair was found guilty of killing Mrs Cox in a “planned and pre-meditated murder” in the build-up to the EU referendum.

The 53-year-old screamed “Britain first, this is for Britain” over her dying body after shooting the Labour MP three times and stabbing her 15 times, the court heard.

Following her remarks in Parliament, Ms Haigh told The Independent: “There is little doubt that the threat and violence of the extremist political right is of serious concern.

“Indeed, the UK’s top counter-terrorism officer yesterday sounded the alarm warning that the threat posed by the extremist right is growing and poses a similar risk to other forms of extremism.

“We need to take this seriously. And we need a full and frank debate in this country about how such hate-filled, violent extreme right organisations are threatening and undermining the values we hold dear and providing the space from which political extremists could emerge.”

 

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