The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox has warned of the growing dangers of fascism and extreme right-wing politics.
Brendan Cox, whose wife was stabbed and shot by a right-wing extremist outside her constituency office last June, said communities need to stand together against division and hate.
He made the comments while opening the Amnesty International annual general meeting in Nottingham on Saturday, reports the Press Association.
Cox said: “We are facing a new threat today - one that we still haven’t fully appreciated.
“We have got into the absurd position of celebrating fascists coming second in national elections, rather than first, as if that is a great outcome.
“I’m not suggesting that we become defeatist, but unless we are clear about the size and scale of the challenge we will be defeated by it.
“As well as understanding the scale of the problem - we must also call it what it is.
“Populism is too kind a term. In fact, in most countries these groups we refer to as populists are consistently unpopular.
“More importantly, the people who lead these movements are not populists - they are racists, bigots and xenophobes, intent on tearing our communities apart. And we should call them out for what they are.
“The threat of rising far right extremism is real and it isn’t going to go away quickly. But with resolution, a concerted attempt to reach out and a focus on building closer communities we can and we will defeat it.”
Jo was murdered as she arrived for a surgery at her Batley and Spen constituency in West Yorkshire on the afternoon of June 16 2016.
The Great Get Together event will be held in her memory on June 17 and 18.
Cox said: “We’re asking everyone to get together with your neighbours to share food and to celebrate what we have in common.
“We hope that this moment, as well as remembering Jo, will start to bring communities closer together, to make connections between us that we can build upon.”