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Man arrested over threats to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner

Man, 52, arrested as police investigation into other perpetrators continues

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 27 October 2021 16:50 BST
Angela Rayner has been targeted with phone calls, emails and letters
Angela Rayner has been targeted with phone calls, emails and letters (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty)

A man has been arrested over threats towards the deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

Greater Manchester Police said they had been investigating a “number of reports after a woman in Ashton-under-Lyne had been receiving multiple threatening and abusive phone calls, emails and letters over recent weeks”.

A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications in Halifax on Wednesday.

Greater Manchester Police said the arrest related to abusive phone calls received on 15 October, the day Sir David Amess was murdered.

The suspect has been released on bail and enquiries are ongoing into other perpetrators.

Police did not name the victim but Ms Rayner’s office confirmed that she was the target.

A spokesperson said: “Angela and her staff have received a number of threatening, malicious and abusive communications in recent weeks. We are working with the police to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice and Angela would like to thank the police for their work during these investigations.

”Abuse and threats of this nature don't just have an impact on Angela but also on her family, her children and her staff who are on the receiving end of these communications.

“Angela is currently on bereavement leave after losing a close loved one and she looks forward to being back at work as soon as possible.”

The arrest came amid calls for action over threats and abuse towards MPs following the murder of Sir David. The home secretary commissioned a security review that saw police contact all MPs to check sufficient arrangements were in place.

Detective Sergeant Christopher Dean said: “Abusive, threatening or bullying behaviour towards anyone is completely unacceptable and we will always do what we can to ensure those responsible are identified and held accountable for their behaviour.

”Although we have arrested one man our investigation very much remains ongoing and we will continue to pursue all available lines of enquiry to identify all those responsible.“

Anyone with information is asked to call police via 101, visit the Greater Manchester Police website or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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