Man 'plotted MP murder for banned group National Action'

  • Published
Jack Renshaw
Image caption,
Jack Renshaw's plot was foiled after he revealed it at a pub in Warrington, the court heard

A neo-Nazi plotted to murder a Labour MP on behalf of banned right wing group National Action, the Old Bailey heard.

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a machete and outlined his plan during a pub meeting.

Jurors heard he wanted to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper in an act of "white Jihad" while taking revenge on police he thought were persecuting him.

Mr Renshaw admits preparing an act of terrorism but denies being a National Action member.

The plot to kill Ms Cooper was foiled by a whistle-blower who reported the danger to Hope Not Hate, an organisation set up to combat right-wing political racism, the court heard.

Mr Renshaw is on trial alongside Andrew Clarke, 34, from Prescot, Merseyside, and Michal Trubini, 36, from Warrington, Cheshire, who also deny membership of National Action, which was banned in December 2016.

Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, said the men were not on trial for their beliefs, but for belonging to a group "that sought actively through fear, intimidation and the threat of violence".

'Race war'

Mr Atkinson told the court "there is no dispute" that Mr Renshaw was planning a "politically motivated murder".

Mr Renshaw outlined his plan in front of Clarke, and two men since convicted of National Action membership, at the Friar Penketh pub in Warrington in July 2017, the court heard.

None of them tried to talk him out of the plot, said Mr Atkinson.

Trubini, had been at the pub beforehand but left before Renshaw arrived, the court heard.

Mr Atkinson told jurors that National Action had spread "propaganda" aimed at starting a "race war" since 2013 before it was banned over its support for the murder of Batley MP Jo Cox in June 2016.

There was evidence found on the defendants' computers and mobile phones that they had continued as active members after the group had been banned, the court heard.

Disenchanted former member Robbie Mullen also passed information to Hope Not Hate, jurors heard.

Mr Atkinson told jurors: "The defendants continued to meet as before, to train together as before, to discuss the same matters as before, to seek together to advance the same goals as before."

'Taking hostages'

He said the catalyst for Mr Renshaw's murder plot was linked to his arrest in January 2017 for stirring up racial hatred in speeches in Blackpool and Yorkshire.

Analysis of his phone revealed what police considered to be evidence of child grooming and he was arrested again in May, jurors were told.

He allegedly said police were trying to destroy his life and if he was charged, he would kill his local MP, Ms Cooper.

His plan involved taking hostages and demanding to speak to the officer who he had been dealing with over the investigation so he could kill her too, the court heard.

Afterwards, he said he would commit "suicide by cop", the court heard.

Mr Atkinson said a machete was found at an address where Mr Renshaw was staying and Google searches included the phrase "how long to die after jugular cut".

The trial continues.