Labours Angela Rayner speaks out about terrifying threats

Labour MP Angela Rayner has told of the threats and abuse she has received since becoming a politician and the distressing toll on her family.

The deputy leader revealed she had a “whole unit” and two dedicated police officers dealing with her case, after receiving a series of terrifying messages last year.

The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne said the abuse has become “normal” for her three teenage children, but she added: “I see it as another part of what I put up with. I take it seriously, but I don’t take it too seriously because that’s what they want.”

Police in Greater Manchester, Kent and Surrey set up Operation Octant to investigate messages sent to Ms Rayner. GMP said three men have been charged.

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Stuart Kelly was jailed for eight weeks in April 2022 for sending abusive voicemails which left her scared for the safety of her family.

He linked comments she made at a Labour Party conference – when she described Tories as “scum” – to the murder of Sir David Amess, 69.

The Tory MP was stabbed to death by terrorist Ali Harbi Ali, 26, in October 2021. One of Kelly’s messages said: “You are the only scum on this earth. I hope you get shot just like that poor bloke.”

In others, he called her a “f****** Scouse scumbag” and a “Murderer, f****** murderer.”

Speaking to The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, Ms Rayner said: “Whether it’s a Conservative MP, SNP or Labour it doesn’t matter, it’s mainly women that get the abuse.

“They want to silence us. We try to support each other in Parliament regardless of our politics.”

During the event, hosted by former Australian PM, Julia Gillard, she said: “I wish more of my male colleagues would report the abuse they receive about me. They tend to delete it.

“It’s really serious and we need to record these things. Most of the people I meet are wonderful but the one thing I’m asked every time I visit a school is, ‘how do you deal with the abuse?’. That shouldn’t be the first question young people ask.”

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