Donald Trump today shared three videos posted by the deputy leader of far-right group Britain First in another anti-Muslim tirade.
Jayda Fransen, whose Twitter feed is littered with videos and pictures condemning Islam, is sitting on a charge of using threatening and abusive language at a rally in Belfast.
She is also expected to appear on religiously aggravated harassment charges next month.
Fransen is renowned for peddling her party’s anti-Muslim agenda, and she was clearly delighted Trump decided to share her views.
Using capital letters, and talking about herself in the third person, she tweeted: ‘The President of the United States Donald Trump has retweeted three of deputy leader Jayda Fransen’s Twitter videos.
‘Donald Trump himself has retweeted these videos and has around 44million followers.
‘God bless you, Trump. God bless America. OCS.’
OCS is an acronym used by the party which stands for Onwards Christian Soldiers.
Fransen, formerly of the English Defence League, regularly marches through cities and towns in the UK holding Christian crosses aloft, which provokes angry reactions from Muslim members of the community.
During one of Britain First’s so-called Christian Patrols in Luton back in November 2016, Fransen was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment after she harassed a Muslim mother-of-four because she was wearing a hijab.
She was fined almost £2,000 as the court heard she told a mother-of-four that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid being raped ‘because they cannot control their sexual urges’, adding ‘that’s why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent’.
Fransen denied all charges, accusing the courts of being ‘absurd’, and engaging in ‘a really clear display of Islamic appeasement’.
‘The reason I said them was because from everything I have studied, I understand them to be true,’ Fransen said in her defense.
She is deputy to Paul Golding, who was spared jail earlier this month after being found guilty of assault.
He is also facing three charges of religiously aggravated harassment in relation to the trial of a gang of men who raped a teenager above a Ramsgate takeaway.
Golding is set for a three day trial next month, alongside Fransen.
Jayda Fransen was born in London in 1986 and claims to have practised and studied law for many years before founding a recruitment consultancy.
In 2014, she was elected deputy leader of Britain First and two years later she took temporary control over the party when Golding was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for breaching a court order banning him from entering a mosque or encouraging others to do so in England and Wales.
The party’s mission statement is issued on its website, and it reads: ‘Britain First is a patriotic political party and street movement that opposes and fights the many injustices that are routinely inflicted on the British people.
‘Our policies are pro-British, our approach is no-nonsense and our principles are not open to compromise.
‘We love our people, our nation, our heritage and culture and will defend them at all times and no matter what odds we face.
‘The Britain First movement is not just a normal political group, we are a patriotic resistance and ‘frontline’ for our long suffering people.’
Fransen, 31, from Penge, south east London, is facing the court action in Northern Ireland over a speech she made at an anti-terrorism demonstration in the city on August 6.
She was arrested by Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers on Saturday in Bromley, south east London and taken to Belfast for questioning.
She has been bailed to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on December 14.
Describing her arrest, she said: ‘I was escorted in a police van with four officers up to Liverpool to catch a ferry. Bearing in mind, I was arrested at quarter to four, our ferry was 10.30 at night and it arrived here in Belfast at 6.30 this morning so it’s been quite a jaunt.’
She said police questioned her for around three to four hours, accusing her of being ‘anti-Islamic’, and released her after she was charged.
‘This all relates to a speech that I gave at an event over here where I was invited as a guest speaker, the Northern Ireland Against Terrorism on the 6 August,’ she added.
Britain First leader Paul Golding broke the news to his supporters in a Twitter video on Saturday.
He said: ‘A large group of plain clothes police detectives from Belfast of all places jumped out of nowhere and have arrested Jayda.
‘What have they arrested her for? Both of us addressed, made a speech, at a public demonstration outside Belfast City Hall all the way back in August.
‘The detective I spoke to told me she is being flown to Belfast tonight to be interrogated.
‘It’s absolutely ridiculous – this is non-stop with me and Jayda, non-bloody stop.’
He said his colleague had been arrested for ‘no bloody reason’.
Ms Fransen and Mr Golding were in Belfast on August 6 for a demonstration by around 50 people calling themselves Northern Ireland Against Terrorism, which took place on the same day as a republican march organised by the Anti-Internment League to mark the use of detention without trial by the British Army during the height of the Troubles in 1971.
Trump shared three videos posted by Fransen.
The first was a clip supposedly showing a Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches.
Seconds later, retweeted a video showing what she claims to be a Muslim man destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
And the third video posted in quick succession to his 43.6million followers was by far the most disturbing – a video showing an alleged Islamic group throwing a teenager off a roof before beating him to death.
Trump then posted his own tweets, first accusing CNN of fake news, then congratulating his own policies and their impact on the stock market.
The issue was raised in the House of Commons this afternoon by Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper MP.
Talking to the Speaker of the House John Bercow, she said: ‘I understand the woman in question has already been convicted of hate crime in thsi coutnry.
‘And on that basis, given the significance and the seriousness of having the President of the United States of America giving her such a huge platform, does he not think it would be approptiate for us to hear some word of condemnation from the Home Secretary or the Foreign Secretary?’
There was no response from the Cabinet.
Labour MP for Tottenham also weighed in on the debate, saying: ‘Let that sink in.
‘The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted.
‘He is no ally or friend of ours. Donald Trump, you are not welcome in my country and my city.’
He also raised the issue that Thomas Mair shouted ‘Britain First’ before murdering his colleague Jo Cox on the eve of the Brexit vote.
‘Do not forget that the man who murdered Jo Cox shouted “Britain First”,’ he said.
‘Trump has gone beyond the pale today.’
Mrs Cox’s widower Brendan Cox said: ‘Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours.
‘Spreading hatred has consequences and the President should be ashamed of himself.’
Britain First previously any denied involvement in the attack on Mrs Cox, and there is no suggestion that Mair was influenced by or in any way involved with the group.