Man arrested on suspicion of sending threatening messages to Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner

A 68-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of malicious communications to Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner .
A 68-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of malicious communications to Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner .

Ms Rayner has previously said her son has asked her to stop being an MP over the abuse she has received

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A 68-year-old man has been arrested in Brighton on suspicion of malicious communications against deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

A spokesman for Ms Rayner confirmed the arrest announced by Greater Manchester Police related to her, adding: “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.”

In October 2021, former delivery driver Benjamin Iliffe was handed a two-year restraining order after he admitted sending a threatening email to Ms Rayner.

The 36-year-old warned the senior politician to “watch your back and your kids” in a message to her.

Ms Rayner has said previously her son has asked her to stop being an MP due to the abuse she has received.

This comes after it was revealed more than 100 cases of harassment and stalking were reported in Parliament over the last two years, while six knives were seized from people entering the estate, new data shows.

The figures, obtained by the Daily Mail, give an insight into the threats faced by politicians following the killing of two MPs in the space of just over five years.

The Mail found that 117 cases of “harassment” and “stalking” – including the sending of letters with intent to cause distress or anxiety – were reported within the Houses of Parliament between January 2020 and September 2021.

But most of the alleged incidents are likely to have taken place online or elsewhere, with only the reports themselves made on the estate.

Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who has previously spoken of the abuse she has faced over her stance on trans issues, told the Mail she thinks the true number of cases could actually be far greater.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it was at least three times higher,” she said.

“People don’t report them, or they get used to these kinds of things – or MPs don’t even know because their staff are dealing with them.”