LONDON (Reuters) - A neo-Nazi organisation that praised the murderer of lawmaker Jo Cox has become the first far-right group in Britain to be banned as a terrorist organization, the Home Office said on Friday.
National Action was banned under the Terrorism Act 2000 meaning that to be a member or open supporter of the group is now a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
"National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organization which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology," said Home Secretary Amber Rudd in a statement.
Rudd laid an order before parliament on Monday to ban the three-year-old group.
The Home Office said Rudd’s decision to proscribe the organization was made before the trial this year of Thomas Mair who was sentenced to life last month for the murder of Cox who was shot and stabbed to death in the street before a meeting with constituents.
National Action had posted several messages expressing support for the Nazi-obsessed Mair and the group's slogan "death to traitors, freedom for Britain", was the only statement given by Mair in court.
It becomes the 71st organisation to be proscribed in Britain, alongside 14 organisations connected to Northern Ireland.
Reporting by Camilla Hodgson; editing by Stephen Addison