My son asked me to stop being an MP because of the threats I receive, Angela Rayner reveals
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has revealed that her son asked her to stand down as an MP due to the number of threats she receives.
Last month, 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.
My eldest son said, ‘Mum I don't want you to do this anymore'. My mum literally thinks that people are out trying to kill me and it's very difficult for her to see that
Ms Rayner, discussing the abuse she receives, said her youngest children had been trained in how to evacuate their home and how to use panic buttons due to police security concerns.
The mother-of-three told BBC North West Tonight: “They have had to get used to the police coming round, which is not what I would consider to be everyday existence for most children.”
The MP said she had “got used to the abuse, which was sad in itself”, but that her eldest child had actively discouraged her from continuing her career in Parliament.
“My eldest son said, ‘Mum I don’t want you to do this anymore’,” Ms Rayner, who has a permanent police escort, said.
“My mum literally thinks that people are out trying to kill me and it’s very difficult for her to see that.”
The shadow cabinet member said threats had become worse since she was elected deputy Labour leader, with some sending explicit death threats.
“I’ve had emails saying do us all a favour so we don’t have to hunt you down like your friend Jo Cox and just kill yourself now, so some of them have been particularly nasty and horrible,” she added.
Jo Cox was murdered outside a constituency surgery meeting in 2016 while serving as Labour MP for Batley and Spen.
Another MP was murdered last month, with Conservative Sir David Amess killed as he prepared to meet his Southend West constituents.
During Iliffe’s sentencing hearing at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court, a probation officer told the court he had spoken to the defendant, who he said felt “angry” after Ms Rayner’s comments labelling the Tories “scum”, remarks she made during a Labour Party conference reception in September.
Ms Rayner repeated her apology to the BBC about her choice of language.
She said: “On reflection of that, and seeing all the abuse that Conservative MPs were getting, I was devastated.
“Violence and abuse is not part of our democracy.”
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