Angela Rayner: police arrest man after deputy Labour leader received string of threatening phone calls

A 52-year old man has been arrested, though police say their investigation is ‘very much ongoing’

A man has been arrested after making a string of threatening and abusive phone calls to the deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

Ms Rayner, a mother of three, has thanked police and described how the threats have been ‘particularly difficult’ for her children.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour party and MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, has reported receiving threatening phone calls and communications over the past few weeks
  • Greater Manchester Police (GMP) apprehended a 52-year-old man at an address in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday morning.
  • GMP said the arrest directly related to a number of abusive phone calls Rayner received on 15 October, and the man has now been bailed pending further inquiries
  • Rayner thanked the police for their work, and said the impact of the threats have been “particularly difficult for my children”
  • The deputy Labour leader has previously revealed that she had ‘panic buttons’ fitted in her home after receiving rape and murder threats on social media

What’s been said?

A spokesman for Ms Rayner 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.“

Greater Manchester Police’s 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 remains very much ongoing and we will continue to pursue all available lines of inquiry to identify all those responsible.”

Background

Questions have been raised about the safety of MPs following the recent murder of Sir David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West, who was fatally stabbed at a constituency surgery.

The veteran MP who was popular across the House of Commons is thought to have been randomly targeted in a suspected terror attack.

His murder sparked an ongoing discussion within parliament about MPs safety, and seems ot have prompted the police to look more seriously at claims of abuse and threats against MPs.

A man who sent a death threat to Labour MP for the Rhondda Chris Bryant was arrested the day after Sir David’s murder.