A far-right paedophile who plotted to kill Labour MP Rosie Cooper appeared to give a Nazi salute as he was jailed for at least 20 years.
Jack Renshaw, 23, bought a 19-inch (48cm) Gladius knife to kill the West Lancashire MP and exact revenge on a female police officer who was investigating him for child sex offences.
He also Googled “how long to die after jugular cut” and researched Mrs Cooper’s schedule as he formed the plot.
The plan was scuppered by whistleblower Robbie Mullen, who was at a meeting in a pub when Renshaw announced his intentions in July 2017, one year after Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist.
Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years at the Old Bailey on Friday after he admitted making preparations to kill his local MP and making a threat to kill police officer Victoria Henderson.
Renshaw raised his arm in an apparent Nazi salute as a supporter in the public gallery shouted “we’re with you Jack” while he was led to the cells.
Sentencing Renshaw, Mrs Justice McGowan said: “Your perverted view of history and current politics has caused you to believe it right to demonise groups simply because they are different from you.”
She added: “This is a case in which only a sentence of life imprisonment can meet the appalling seriousness of your offending.”
In a statement after the sentencing, Mrs Cooper said: “My deepest wish is that this case is the last occasion when any public servant, any politician, has their life threatened for simply doing their job.
“I believe today justice has been served. Not for me personally, but for every MP and public servant, and for our democratic way of life which affords us the privilege of free speech, without fear of violent retribution.”
In a victim impact statement read by Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, the MP said the plot against her was like “something out of a horror movie” and caused some of her staff to leave their jobs.
Renshaw announced his plan at the Friar Penketh pub in Warrington at a meeting with the leader of banned extreme right-wing group National Action, Christopher Lythgoe, and others including Mr Mullen.
Mr Mullen, from Widnes, Cheshire, shared details of the plot with campaign group Hope Not Hate.
Renshaw had also denied membership of National Action and a jury was discharged when they failed to reach a verdict.
The judge added: “You praised the murder of Jo Cox in tweets and posts in June 2017 and in some bizarre way you saw this as a commendable act and set out to replicate that behaviour.”
Renshaw was previously jailed last June for 16 months after he groomed two underage boys online.
He also received a three-year prison sentence two months earlier when he was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred after he called for the genocide of Jewish people.
Mr Mullen said his decision to reveal Renshaw’s plot changed his life but he “had no other choice”.
In a statement after the sentencing, Mr Mullen said: “The last two years have been horrendous, stressful and very, very hard but I wouldn’t change a single thing I did.”
Will Chatterton, head of investigations for counter terrorism policing in the North West, said the jail term reflected “the vile and shocking nature” of Renshaw’s views and plans.
Asked about the Nazi salute given by Renshaw in court, he added: “I believe that was towards members in the upper section (public gallery), again a sort of vile and disrespectful act which I guess demonstrates the fact that he’s a dangerous individual who still holds appalling and extreme views.”
Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles said Renshaw’s plot “shouldn’t have come to this” and authorities “took their eye off National Action”.
“Former National Action members are still active, successor organisations are being formed, and a threat still clearly remains,” he said.
“Too little effort has gone into understanding the mindset of those attracted into this violent, nihilistic breed of far-right terrorism, or the culture from which they emerge – or then enter.”
Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said the plot was “also an attack on the democratic process and public service”.