Far right hijacks MP’s murder for Brexit
The Times by James Lyons | Monday, 20 June 2016 | Click here for original article
A far-right group has tried to hijack the killing of Jo Cox and link it to the campaign for Brexit.
National Action posted a picture of murder suspect Thomas Mair with a caption reading: “#VoteLeave, don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain. Jo Cox would have filled Yorkshire with more subhumans!”
It was one of several offensive posts about the killing that have appeared on the Twitter feed of the group’s regional northeast branch.
They came to light as the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen appeared to try to explain away Cox’s killing.
“People resort to violence because they are sneered at by Brussels elites,” tweeted the leader of the National Front in France.
National Action is barely 100 strong, according to the Hope Not Hate organisation, which monitors far-right activity in Britain.
However, the Nazi group is dangerous despite its small size because of the impact its propaganda can have on young men, a spokesman for Hope Not Hate said.
Zack Davies, a white supremacist, told police he was a supporter of the group when he was arrested over the attempted murder of a Sikh dentist in a supermarket.
Davies, who was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years, shouted “white power” during the machete attack last year.
“National Action is a vile, publicity-seeking group which seeks to revel in notoriety, as with its pathetic attempt to claim that Jo Cox’s murder was about the killer’s ‘sacrifice’ for Vote Leave,” the Hope Not Hate spokesman said.
“The danger lies not so much in the group itself, but in those who would believe its message — and take it to its violent and logical extreme.”
Police are believed to be investigating the Twitter feed.
The “leave” campaign has been dogged by far-right groups attempting to associate themselves with the campaign.
This weekend Cox’s murder has put the spotlight back on their attempts to infiltrate the Brexit camp.
Mair, who has been arrested and charged over the killing, was named as a supporter of the Springbok Club, an organisation that has defended the white supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa. His name was mentioned in the group’s online newsletter from 10 years ago.
A recent edition from April urges supporters to get in touch with the conservative Bruges Group “in order to assist with the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign.
“All help and support in advancing the campaign at this centre is of course encouraged,” the Springbok Cyber Newsletter said.
The Bruges Group, which was inspired by Margaret Thatcher’s 1988 anti-EU speech, had contacted another fringe right-wing organisation, the Swinton Circle, for help, the newsletter said.
That claim was hotly rejected by Robert Oulds, director of the mainstream Bruges Group, who said his organisation had not sought contact and did not want anything to do with the other two groups.
“We have no links with them. We have nothing to do with them whatsoever — there is no involvement with our campaign, with our work or anything at all,” he said. “I wonder what is going on here.”
The Sunday Times revealed last month how the unofficial Leave.EU group headed by the Ukip leader Nigel Farage had courted far-right sympathisers with targeted advertisements on Facebook.
The Brexit campaign used the social media site to direct adverts at users who had shown an interest in the British National party, the National Front, Britain First and English Defence League (EDL).
A spokesman for Leave.EU said an advertising agency hired by the group had targeted “all parties and none” when it was looking to become the official Brexit campaign but had “stopped promoting to far-right groups instantly” when it learnt what had been happening.
Dozens of far-right extremists have sought to attach themselves to the Brexit movement.
Andrew Edge, a prominent member of EDL, posed with a “We want our country back: vote to leave” banner produced by Ukip beside the gravestone of the gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray , and has also been photographed with Farage.
Homemade gun guide on Amazon
A manual on how to build the type of pistol allegedly bought by the man charged with Jo Cox’s murder is on sale on Amazon for just over £8, write Justin Stoneman and Jon Ungoed-Thomas.
According to the Southern Law Poverty Centre (SLPC), a US civil rights group, Thomas Mair bought a copy of the Improvised Munitions Handbook in 1999 from National Vanguard Books in West Virginia — the publishing arm of a white supremacist group called the National Alliance.
According to the SLPC, the manual includes instructions on how to build a “pipe pistol” with a claimed lethal range of 30 metres. Last week the book was on sale on Amazon’s UK website for £8.09, but reviews indicated it should be treated with caution.
“Keep away from kids & anyone with the brain size of a peanut,” said one reviewer.
Another said: “My friend and I made the shotgun in the book and we took it to a gunsmith. He said it is the most dangerous weapon he has ever seen.”
Also on sale on Amazon was the US Army Guide to Boobytraps , although there is no suggestion Mair bought it.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.