Who is Jayda Fransen? The Britain First deputy leader who Donald Trump retweeted

Who is Jayda Fransen? The Britain First deputy leader who Donald Trump retweeted

Jayda Fransen is the deputy leader of Britain First

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Britain First's Jayda Fransen has hit the headlines in the US and it's all down to Donald Trump, who chose to retweet a selection of her messages.

Whilst Fransen and her warped ideology might be old news for British readers, it's likely to be the first time our American audience has ever heard of the deputy leader.

So for our American (and British) friends, here's the lowdown on Fransen and her movement.

Britain First is a far-right political group that was first formed in 2011 by the British National Party and is now well-known for holding protests against Islam, notably its "Christian Patrols", marches during which members allegedly seek out Muslim people on the streets, and "invasions" of Mosques. 

The movement's own supporters claim it is merely patriotic, but opponents claim it is a far-right, racist organisation.

Fransen - whose 'pinned tweet' on Twitter is a video which shows her leading a march and carrying a cross in her home city of Luton - Fransen was found guilty of a religiously aggravated harassment last year during one of Britain First's  patrols, having admitted telling Sumayyah Sharpe that Muslim men are raping women across Europe. She and Britain First leader Paul Golding were also banned from entering any mosque in England and Wales for three years, after police in Luton obtained an injunction against them.

This year she has been issued with further charges of religiously motivated harassment, having been accused of handing out leaflets outside a gang-rape trial, as well as charges relating to a speech she made in Belfast, although she says she was simply exercising her right to free speech in the latter incident.

Fransen's group has also been linked to the murder of Jo Cox, given that killer Thomas Mair's reported last words were "Britain first". However the group said it did not have any connection to the man and leader Paul Golding condemned the killing.

In 2016 Fransen stood as a candidate for Britain First in the London Assembly election, but her party failed to win a single seat. The party claimed this was partly because British people had moved out of London and immigrants had moved in.

In light of the Trump retweet, Fransen has petitioned the US President for help in her current legal cases, saying "I'm now facing prison for criticising Islam. I need your help!"