Britain First: who are the far-right party retweeted by Trump?
The UK nationalist party wants to ban Islam from the UK and fiercely opposes mass immigration
US President Donald Trump has shocked Twitter users by retweeting videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First.
Fransen - currently on bail on four counts of religiously aggravated harassment over a separate incident earlier this year - “was understandably delighted at the publicity”, says the Daily Mirror.
The organisation, formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party, is a self-described “patriotic political movement”, although it has no members in positions of public office.
Britain First has been accused repeatedly of inciting violence against ethnic minorities, particularly Muslims, and campaigns for the preservation of traditional British culture.
Its members have attracted attention, too, with their savvy use of Facebook and YouTube to spread videos of their “Christian patrols”, where they take to the streets of London, “complaining loudly about ‘invasions’ of British mosques and harassing Muslim locals”, says the Daily Mirror.
The group’s “Facebook page has 1.9million ‘likes’, but their social media posts including praising a terrorist mosque attack in Finsbury Park, London, have attracted condemnation”, says The Sun.
Britain First was originally under the leadership of Jim Dowson, a “firebrand Protestant preacher and anti-abortionist who is a former member of the British National Party”, says The Guardian. Dowson quit in 2014, claiming he was shocked that the organisation was full of “racists and extremists”.
Since then, it has been led by former BNP members Paul Golding and Fransen.