Home Secretary Amber Rudd has warned of a growing threat from right wing extremists following the whole-life jailing of Thomas Mair for the murder of Member of Parliament Jo Cox in June 2016. Rudd's warning comes as counter terrorism experts warn that in some areas of the UK right-wing extremists pose as much of a threat to the country as Islamists.
Speaking at a UK-Israel conference in Westminster organised by Jewish News and Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), Rudd said far-right groups were becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous. Jewish groups, she noted, were at risk both from Islamists and from the far-right and anti-Semitic attacks were on the increase across Europe. Jihadist attacks have targeted synagogues, museums, schools and kosher supermarkets in recent years.
"Sadly the Jewish community knows all too well the reality of having to live with the threat from terrorism and hate crime," said Rudd, reports the Jewish News. "Events in Paris last year highlighted the particular risks faced by the Jewish community from Islamist extremists, while the sentencing of Thomas Mair this month demonstrated the evil of extreme right-wing acts of terrorism."
The murder of Labour's Jo Cox by Nazi sympathiser Mair took place in Yorkshire, an area identified by experts as one where right-wing extremism is considered as large a problem as Islamist extremism. The number of referrals to the Prevent strategy linked to fascism has risen sharply since Brexit and Nazis such as National Action are increasingly active in areas like Liverpool.
Rudd added: "In Britain ... there is no place for hatred, no place for racist or religious hate crimes, and we will not ignore the threat to any community in this country. We are the sum of all our parts – a proud, diverse society. We must come together, and stand united against those who would use hate to divide us."