Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper targeted by neo-Nazi terror group recalls her ordeal in Parliamentary speech

West Lancashire MP has spoken in Parliament about her ordeal
West Lancashire MP has spoken in Parliament about her ordeal
Share this article

An MP who was the target of a neo-Nazi murder plot was applauded in the Commons and urged consideration of non-jury terrorism trials.

Labour's Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire) spoke of her ordeal in the chamber and told MPs to "do our utmost" to defend democracy.

Jack Renshaw is facing life in prison for plotting to murder West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer

Jack Renshaw is facing life in prison for plotting to murder West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer

Read more>>> Preston transgender teen attack: Lancashire Police launch 'review' into case

She also asked Home Secretary Sajid Javid to consider the Diplock process, which were judge-only hearings introduced in Northern Ireland in the 1970s for terrorist-related offences following a report by senior judge Lord Diplock.

Jack Renshaw, 23, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a 19-inch (48cm) Gladius knife to kill Ms Cooper and exact revenge on a female police officer who was investigating him for child sex offences.

Read more>>> WARNING: Graphic images as Preston and Lytham Big Issue seller Lewis Holdsworth attacked by security guard Mohamed Bennassar - who wrongly accused him of theft

But the plan was scuppered by whistle-blower Robbie Mullen, who was at a meeting in a pub when Renshaw announced he was going to kill Ms Cooper in July 2017 and reported the threat to Hope Not Hate.

Ms Cooper, raising a point of order, thanked Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and all MPs for their "kindness" over the "last two difficult years".

She also thanked Mr Mullen and Hope Not Hate, saying: "Without their actions, I might not be here."

She added: "I was to be murdered to send a message to the state, to send a message to this place.

"Members of this House are regularly abused and attacked. Our freedoms, our way of life, our democracy is under threat and we must do our utmost to defend it.

"Whilst the Home Secretary is in his place, perhaps I might ask him to consider the Diplock process for terrorist trials."

MPs from all sides applauded Ms Cooper before Mr Bercow said: "I think the spontaneous reaction of both sides of the chamber, joined in by the Leader of the House (Andrea Leadsom) and other colleagues speaks volumes.

"I hope I speak on behalf of the House in saying that we have the most enormous respect and admiration for (Ms Cooper).

"She has displayed courage and fortitude of which many people, and probably most of us, can only dream - in the most harrowing of circumstances, faced with an explicit and very real threat to her life from neo-Nazis she has not wilted for a second.

"She has defended her own rights, she has defended the rights of her constituents, she has defended the rights of all of her colleagues and she's defended the rights of Parliament as an institution.

"By this sort of poisonous, fascistic bile, we will not be cowed and the sooner for the purveyors of hate, of fascism, of Nazism, of a death cult realise that, the better.

"I salute the honourable lady."

Commons Leader Mrs Leadsom paid tribute to Ms Cooper on behalf of the Government, adding: "We all absolutely stand with her."

Mr Javid echoed the tribute before Mr Corbyn thanked Ms Cooper for her "incredible fortitude" in standing up against the "appalling" threat.