Finsbury Park mosque van attack accused Darren Osborne 'planned to assassinate' Jeremy Corbyn

A man accused of carrying out a terror attack outside Finsbury Park mosque initially planned to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn, a court has heard.

Darren Osborne told the Old Bailey he intended to kill the Labour leader when he spoke at an Al Quds march in Grosvenor Square last June - hours before the attack.

But when that plan was thwarted attention turned to the mosque, jurors heard, as it was in Mr Corbyn's constituency.

Giving evidence, Osborne - who is accused of driving into a crowd of worshippers outside the mosque - denied he was behind the wheel.

He said that a man named "Dave" had been driving, while Osborne and a third man had been passengers.

But footage shown to the jury and released by police showed Osborne indicating that he had "lost control" of the van.

In the audio clip, Osborne is heard to say that he had drunk a "couple of pints" when asked by an officer on whose body cam the footage was filmed.

Police have not arrested anybody else in connection with the attack or indicated they are seeking further arrests.

Osborne, 48, took to the witness stand on Tuesday where he is accused of murder and attempted murder.

After blaming the attack on "Dave," Osborne said that he, Dave and a man named Terry Jones had met in a pub early in 2017.

There the trio discussed social and political views, jurors heard.

The court was told that Osborne, Jones and Dave originally targeted a Labour councillor in Rochdale, Aftab Hussain, after allegedly backing one of the members of the grooming gang.

"That was our intended target," Osborne said.

Asked if this plan had been put into effect, he said: "Unfortunately not."

The prosecutor said: "You are essentially admitting, together with Dave and Terry, that you have conspired to murder this man, Mr Hussain?

Osborne replied: "This man should not be in office. He is still a sitting MP for Rochdale."

Osborne told the court that "road blocks" had prevented the van from going near the march, and that it headed towards Finsbury Park.

He told jurors that the group had intended more casualties when the van hit the worshippers.

Referring to the Al Quds march, the prosecutor asked: "Were you hoping that you would have an opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn and kill him?"

Osborne replied: "Oh yeah", adding: "It would be one less terrorist off our streets."

He said it would have been "even better" if London Mayor Sadiq Khan had been at the march.

Osborne told the court: "It would have been like winning the lottery."

He continued: "We had... we were planning to form a group, like the Welsh far-right group. We were going to call ourselves the 'Taffia'."

Osborne denies the murder of Makram Ali, 51, and attempted murder of others.