Donald Trump’s recent Twitter feed has seen him take offence and being offensive.
And, today, the US President inexplicably decided to retweet the deputy leader of far-right extremist group Britain First.
Trump shared three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the second-in-command of the anti-immigration group that praised the Finsbury Park mosque attack in June this year.
The tweets include video footage appearing to show an “Islamist mob” pushing a teenage boy off a roof. Another video was captioned “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” – police in the Netherlands have already confirmed the man involved was neither a Muslim nor a migrant.
Trump’s retweets have caused widespread condemnation that he would share videos from someone like Fransen.
Here is what you need to know about her and her organisation:
Who is Jayda Fransen?
Fransen, 31, from Penge, south-east London was arrested earlier this month over comments she made at a rally in Belfast.
Police charged her with using threatening and abusive language – she later told supporters she was accused of being “anti-Islamic”.
It is not the first time that Fransen has been in trouble with police.
In May, the pair were arrested for distributing leaflets in Kent and posting videos online during a trial at Canterbury Crown Court that centred on three Muslim men and a teenager who were eventually convicted of rape and jailed.
Last year, Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment after she shouted abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
She was fined nearly £2,000 for wearing a political uniform and shouting at Sumayyah Sharpe during a “Christian patrol” of Bury Park in Luton, in January 2016.
Fransen admitted telling Ms Sharpe that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid being raped “because they cannot control their sexual urges”.
Fransen and her entourage were also chased out of Birmingham after confronting the holders of a Muslim bookstall in July this year.
Following the President retweeting the videos, Fransen’s Twitter account, which has 54,000 followers, celebrated the shares.
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 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA! OCS @JaydaBF @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/BiQfQkTra9
— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 29, 2017
Praising “Donald Trump himself”, the post signed off saying: “God bless you Trump! God bless America!”
The abbreviation ‘OCS’ was also added – which means Onward Christian Soldiers.
Britain First – a group of hate
Britain First was founded in 2011 by leader Paul Golding with a membership of three individuals. It describes itself as a “patriotic political party and street movement”.
It wants to deport all illegal immigrants, halt all further immigration, and introduce “a comprehensive ban on the religion of Islam” with headscarves being outlawed in public. “Anyone found to be promoting the ideology of Islam will be subject to deportation or imprisonment,” its policy platform states.
This is what it claims:
Britain First is not against individual Muslims, but specifically against the doctrine and religion of Islam itself as an ideology. The Koran and Islamic doctrine promotes hatred, violence and intolerance against non-Muslims. “Jihad” is the most talked about issue in the Koran. Women are oppressed in Islam. The death penalty applies to homosexuals. Marriage to children is allowed. Muslims who died fighting non-Muslims are promised 72 virgins in paradise. Sharia Law prescribes stonings and amputations. Halal slaughter is barbaric and evil. We are against these principles of Islam, not individual humans who have been led astray by this barbaric “religion”
It holds protests across the country, usually attended by a couple of hundred supporters at most, many of whom hold white crosses because the group argues Christianity in Britain is being threatened by immigration and the growth of militant Islam.
The organisation, which has nearly two million likes on Facebook, came to a perverse prominence in 2016 after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Conflicting reports at the time said Thomas Mair, who killed Cox outside a constituency surgery during the 2016 EU referendum campaign, was heard shouting “Britain First” during the attack.
However, the organisation denied having any involvement in the killing, insisting they would “never encourage behaviour of this sort”.
Do they have a constituency?
It’s important not to overegg Britain First’s role in UK political life.
In November 2014, the party contested the Rochester and Strood by-election, finishing in ninth place with a pathetic 56 votes – behind even the Monster Raving Loony Party.
In the 2016 London mayoral election Golding himself received only 31,000 votes – just 1.2% of those cast.