Sunday 25 February 2018

Alleged leader of extreme right-wing terror group due in court charged with MP murder plot

File photo dated 02/11/06 of Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire Steve Parsons/PA Wire
File photo dated 02/11/06 of Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The alleged leader of extreme right-wing terror group National Action is due in court charged with plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper.

Christopher Lythgoe, 31, of Warrington, Cheshire, who is reportedly a leader of the group, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday accused of the offence and a separate charge of belonging to a proscribed organisation.

In a statement, West Lancashire MP Ms Cooper said: "I would like to thank everyone involved in this case, especially the counter-terrorism police, for keeping me, my staff and the public safe.

"There remains an ongoing criminal investigation so it would not be appropriate for me to comment further."

Five other men were also charged with being members of National Action, including a 22-year-old man, understood to be Jack Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, who is also accused of making threats to kill and intending to commit acts of terrorism contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

The others charged with belonging to a proscribed organisation are Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Merseyside; Matthew Hankinson, 23, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside; Andrew Clarke, 33, of Warrington and Michael Trubini, 35, of Warrington.

They are also due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning.

Last month, counter-terrorism officers carried out a number of raids across England and Wales as part of an investigation into National Action.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: "A group of men have been charged as part of a national investigation into the group National Action.

"On Wednesday September 27 as part of co-ordinated activity, officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East and North West, supported by Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit and Wiltshire Police, executed a number of warrants and searched properties across England and Wales."

National Action became the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016.

The proscription means that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment.

Press Association

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