A neo-Nazi has been jailed for life over a shocking plot to murder a British MP in a terrorist attack.

Jack Renshaw, 23, was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to buying a machete and intending to kill Labour MP Rosie Cooper and threatening to kill a police officer, reports news.com.au.

Renshaw, a member of banned British neo-Nazi group National Action, made a Nazi salute as he was led to the cells from the dock, according to the BBC.

Justice Maura McGowan at the Old Bailey said Renshaw wanted to "replicate" the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed in a Yorkshire street in 2016.

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The judge said Renshaw's "perverted view of history and current politics" led him to "an attempt to damage our entire system of democracy".

"You praised the murder of Jo Cox in tweets and posts in June 2017. In some bizarre way you saw this as a commendable act and set out to replicate that behaviour," the judge said.

She added: "This is a case in which only a sentence of life imprisonment can meet the appalling seriousness of your offending."

The weapon Renshaw intended to use. Photo / Britain's Crown Prosecution Service
The weapon Renshaw intended to use. Photo / Britain's Crown Prosecution Service

The court heard Renshaw bought a 48cm Gladius knife and told members of National Action about his plan at a pub in July 2017.

His plot was foiled by whistleblower and former National Action member Robbie Mullen, who passed on information to anti-racism charity Hope not Hate, which tipped off police.

Ms Cooper told the court in a victim statement the ordeal was "like something out of a horror movie".

After the sentencing she said "justice has been served".

"Not for me personally, but for every MP and public servant, and for our democratic way of life which affords us the privilege of free speech, without fear of violent retribution," she said.

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Renshaw was also jailed for 16 months in June 2018 for four counts of grooming adolescent boys.