'National Action member' charged with encouragement to commit murder

A man arrested as part of a probe into banned extreme right-wing group National Action has been charged with encouragement to commit murder.

Greater Manchester Police said Christopher Lythgoe, 31, from Warrington, Cheshire, was one of six men charged with being members of the group.

Last month, counter-terrorism officers carried out a number of raids across England and Wales as part of the investigation.

The others charged with belonging to a proscribed organisation are Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Merseyside; Matthew Hankinson, 23, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside; Andrew Clarke, 33, of Warrington; Michael Trubini, 35, of Warrington, and a 22-year-old man from Lancashire.

The unnamed 22-year-old is also accused of making threats to kill and intending to commit acts of terrorism contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: "A group of men have been charged as part of a national investigation into the group National Action. On Wednesday September 27 as part of co-ordinated activity, officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East and North West, supported by Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit and Wiltshire Police, executed a number of warrants and searched properties across England and Wales."

All of the defendants are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

National Action became the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016. The proscription means that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment.

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