A candidate for the Women’s Equality Party has been left “distressed and disturbed” after she received a vitriolic letter of racist and misogynistic abuse which was signed “Jo Cox”.
Nimco Ali, a vocal female genital mutilation campaigner, recieved the handwritten death threat referring to the horrific murder of Labour MP Ms Cox at the party's headquarters in Southwark.
Ms Ali, the party’s candidate in Hornsey and Wood Green, told The Independent her massive personal respect for Ms Cox, who was shot and stabbed multiple times by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair last June, made the letter considerably harder to deal with.
She said: “It was difficult having known Jo Cox personally and respected her so much. I’m familiar with abuse and received stuff like that for eight years as an activist but this shocked me. It’s just words on a paper it just takes one idiot to act on it.”
“It’s crippling to receive a death threat. I don’t think the people who send these things realise the affect it will have or maybe they’re fully aware and get kicks. I am worried for my safety.”
Catherine Mayer, the co-founder of the WEP, said Ms Ali had received a great deal of abuse in the recent weeks leading up to the election but this was the worst instance.
Ms Mayer said: “At first Nimco was resilient as always but when I told her how it was signed, she was shaken up. It was handwritten and in capital letters. It included racist, Islamophobic and misogynistic stuff and was extremely nasty.”
Police were called to the party’s London offices after staff said they were bombarded with threatening and abusive phone calls on Tuesday.
“The unidentified male callers were shouting angry and abusive stuff and throwing insults. It was terrifying. The women have been left shaken up,” Ms Mayer explained.
“There are women in the office at all times but it is scary to be there. This shows how much we need a woman’s equality party.”
According to Ms Meyer, one man informed two staff who were alone in the office that he was ten minutes away and then read out the party office’s address before telling them they should be scared.
“Abusive phone calls to @WEP_UK so bad & prolific that police advise upgrading phone security,” Ms Mayer wrote on Twitter.
“The contemptible attempts to frighten @WEP_UK into silence *do* frighten us but won’t silence us. They strengthen our resolve”.
After colleagues notified Ms Ali of the letter, she tweeted: “Just got a call from my team that a letter full of racist abuse & threats signed "Jo Cox" was delivered to our office for me. I am shaken.
“I have spent the last 10 years risking my life to Ends #FGM and I have lost so much to ensure this world is free of abuse and hate.”
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said they had received a call on Tuesday shortly before 1.40 am. "An appointment has been scheduled to take a report from the complainant,” they said.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies