Man called for 'race traitors' to be hanged

Matthew Hankinson
Image caption Matthew Hankinson is accused of being a member of banned neo-Nazi group National Action

A man accused of being a member of a banned neo-Nazi group called for "traitors" who supported multi-ethnic Britain to be hanged from lampposts, in a video shown to an Old Bailey jury.

In the clip, taken in March 2015, Matthew Hankinson, 24, addressed a crowd in Newcastle upon Tyne.

He is one of six men who deny being in National Action after a ban in 2016.

On Tuesday one of the group admitted planning to murder a Labour MP as part of what he called a "white jihad".

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to preparing an act of terrorism by buying a machete to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.

He also admitted making a threat to kill police officer Victoria Henderson.

'Race war'

There is no dispute in the trial that Mr Hankinson, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, is the speaker at the rally which took place more than a year before National Action was banned under terrorism legislation.

He and the five other defendants deny being members of the group after it was outlawed in December 2016.

During the Newcastle event, Mr Hankinson appears wearing dark sunglasses and surrounded by flag bearers, including one man carrying the National Action insignia.

He tells the crowd they need to prepare for a coming race war which was necessary to secure the future of white people.

"If we don't fight and cut out the cancer, Britain will die," he says. "The system will not compromise with us. We need the strongest of our race."

Referring to so-called race traitors who oppose far-right ideology, Mr Hankinson says: "They will end up hanging from lampposts. We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

"Blood must be shed, the blood of traitors. Stand up white men and set our people free."

The jury also watched a video of a demonstration involving National Action in Liverpool which resulted in minor clashes with anti-racism protesters and police in 2016.

Image caption Jack Renshaw, in the centre holding the flag with his bare hand, from a National Action video of a demonstration in Liverpool in 2016

Mr Atkinson told the jury that Jack Renshaw was a masked man seen to be holding a banner, alongside some of the group's founders.

A further video of a Rochdale protest included footage of another of the defendants - Andrew Clarke, 33, of Prescot in Merseyside.

The other accused, who all deny being in the group are: Christopher Lythgoe, 32, and Michal Trubini, 35, both from Warrington; and Garron Helm, 24, from Seaforth, Merseyside.

Mr Lythgoe also denies encouragement to murder by allegedly giving Renshaw permission to kill Labour MP Ms Cooper on behalf of the group.

The court was told it was a whistleblower - Robbie Mullen - who first warned the anti-racism charity Hope not Hate - and, through them, the police - of Renshaw's plan to kill Ms Cooper.

Immunity agreement

Mr Mullen, 25, from Widnes, Cheshire, told jurors he became interested in far-right politics in his late teens and joined National Action in 2015.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption National Action was against "every non-white" group, Robbie Mullen said

Asked which "groups" National Action was against, he said: "Jews, blacks, Asians - every non-white."

He said it wanted a "white Britain" by "any means necessary," which included "war" and "people getting killed".

Questioned by prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC, he said he had been a National Action member after it was banned and that the six men in the dock had remained members too.

Asked why he had first contacted Hope not Hate in April 2017, he said "partly the directions things were going in".

When asked to clarify, he said: "To get out of the organisation - National Action."

He told jurors he had signed an agreement to give him immunity from prosecution over his former membership in return for giving evidence in the case.

Image caption Andrew Clarke giving a speech in Rochdale in 2016

Mr Mullen said after National Action was banned, Mr Lythgoe took the organisation "underground" and had remained in charge.

He said the meetings continued with the "same place, same people, same purpose".

Mr Mullen said: "The politics was still the same - free white man. The group had gone, the name had gone, but the people were still meeting."

He told the court of a July 2017 meeting at a pub in Warrington during which Renshaw outlined his plan to kill Rosie Cooper and Mr Lythgoe allegedly gave his approval.

Mr Mullen said Mr Lythgoe suggested the former home secretary Amber Rudd be targeted, but Renshaw dismissed that because she would be too protected.

He added that when Mr Lythgoe had said Renshaw could "do it in the name of National Action", Renshaw announced he would do it "in the name of white jihad".

The case continues.

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