Man charged over death threats to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner listen as shadow chancellor Ra

Benjamin Iliffe, 36, from Chatteris was charged with malicious communications to Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner (pictured at the Labour Party conference). - Credit: PA

A Chatteris man has been charged over death threats sent to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

Benjamin Iliffe, 36, was charged with malicious communications, according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

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Police also said they made a third arrest on Thursday over the phone calls, emails and letters that the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne reported receiving in recent weeks.

GMP said a 70-year-old man was arrested in conjunction with South Yorkshire Police on suspicion of malicious communication and remained in custody.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner arrive at engineering firm Ricardo

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner arrive at engineering firm Ricardo in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, ahead of the Labour Party conference. Picture date: Saturday September 25, 2021. - Credit: PA

He was arrested in relation to emails received on October 16, while a 52-year-old was arrested in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and bailed over abusive phone calls Ms Rayner received a day earlier.

Ms Rayner, a mother of three who is on bereavement leave after losing a close loved one, reported receiving the threatening contacts over a number of weeks.

After the first arrest, her spokesperson said: “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.”

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The investigation by at least three police forces comes amid increased concern over the safety of MPs and the level of abuse they receive following the killing of Sir David Amess.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner answers questions from the media, after meeting with

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner in Sandiacre near Nottingham. Picture date: Wednesday April 21, 2021. - Credit: PA

The veteran Conservative MP for Southend West was stabbed in a suspected terror attack during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Iliffe, of Slade Way, Chatteris, was due to appear before Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.

The charge comes after Mrs Rayner was targeted with online abuse following the death of Sir David Amess.

A spokesman for Ms Rayner previously 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.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner speaks at the Labour Party conference in Brighton. Picture date:

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner speaks at the Labour Party conference in Brighton. Picture date: Saturday September 25, 2021. - Credit: PA

"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."

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