Brexit Britain: BNP posts Jo Cox '˜Muslim' slur through neighbours' letterboxes

The far-right British National Party has posted leaflets to people living near the West Yorkshire town where Labour MP Jo Cox was killed, accusing her of taking 'misguided action' by 'helping Muslims', the Commons has heard.

Jo Cox in 2015

Labour’s Paula Sherriff said the “horrendous” leaflets, which had gone to her constituents in Dewsbury, said Mrs Cox was wrong to help people who may go on to join Islamic State, also known as Isis.

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Mrs Cox was shot and stabbed in Birstall on June 16, a week before the EU referendum.

Former BNP member Jack Buckby is to contest the by-election in the Batley and Spen constituency Mrs Cox represented, despite commitments from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Ukip not to field a candidate.

Home Office Minister Karen Bradley committed to meeting Ms Sherriff to discuss the “utterly unacceptable” leaflets and to look at what “specific action” can be taken against the BNP.

During Ms Bradley’s statement on hate crime, Ms Sherriff said: “Many members will be aware that my constituency sits right next door to Batley and Spen.

“Yesterday people in my constituency received a leaflet from the BNP saying Jo Cox took misguided action by helping Muslims in the country who may now go on to join Isis, alongside some other horrendous allegations.

“Then I have received a significant number of communications from constituents, one - a seven year-old Muslim girl - was told on Friday, I’ve removed the expletives from this for the purpose of this House, ‘it was the best day ever today, go home all of you’ to her and her family.

“And I am continuing to receive a number of similar incidents.

“I like many others, I am so proud to be British, but I am also proud to be the daughter of a mother who is half Polish.

“On Monday I asked the Prime Minister about establishing a cross-party commission to look at these race hate crimes and wonder if any progress has been made on that?

“Because the time to act isn’t tomorrow, next week or next month, it’s now.”

Ms Bradley replied: “I am shocked by what you say, I am sure the whole House is shocked.

“That is utterly, utterly unacceptable.

“I would like to meet you if you would allow and perhaps we can discuss a specific action being taken and make sure that any crimes such as those are reported and actions taken against them.”

David Cameron told the Commons that extra cash for security measures would be available as part of a fresh push to “drive appalling hate crimes” out of Britain.

The Prime Minister said a new action plan on tackling hate crime will be published soon while the Crown Prosecution Service will issue new guidance to prosecutors on racially aggravated crime.

Mr Cameron said: “These attacks are appalling and they need to stop and it’s right everyone in this House and everyone on all sides of the referendum debate utterly condemns them. That’s not what we do in Britain.

“Let me say I reassured prime ministers of countries, such as Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic, who are concerned about this issue at the meeting we had last night.

“So we do monitor these attacks and the Home Secretary gets regular reports.

“But I can tell the House we will be publishing a new action plan on tackling hate crime shortly to step up our response.

“We want new steps to boost reporting of hate crime and supporting victims, new CPS guidance to prosecutors on racially aggravated crime, a new fund for protective security measures at potentially vulnerable institutions and additional funding to community organisations so they can tackle hate crime.

“Whatever we can do we will do to drive these appalling hate crimes out of our country.”

Meanwhile, charities in Sheffield have reported incidents of staff being racially abused, while police have confirmed details of a number of racist attacks across South Yorkshire in the past few days - but say reports of hate crimes are down on the same time last year.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has written to the force urging them to be vigilant about racist abuse after a rise in hate crimes was reported nationally following the referendum result.

She said: “I want people across our city worried about this to know, whatever your creed or colour, you are every bit as welcome in Sheffield as you have ever been. You have every bit as much a right to be here as I do and we all value the fantastic contribution you make to our city.

Thomas Mair, 52, from Birstall, has appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murdering Mrs Cox, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of a knife.