Angela Rayner: Man charged with malicious communications over threats and abuse sent to Labour's deputy leader

·1 min read

A man has been charged with malicious communications after Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner received threats and abuse.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 36-year-old Benjamin Iliffe, from Cambridgeshire, will appear at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court later on Thursday to face the charge.

Iliffe, of Slade Way, Chatteris, has also been charged with possessing cannabis.

It comes as police said they made a third arrest over the phone calls, emails and letters that have been sent to Ms Rayner in recent weeks.

According to GMP, a 70-year-old man was arrested in conjunction with South Yorkshire Police on suspicion of malicious communication and is still in custody.

He was held over emails received on 16 October.

On Wednesday, a 52-year-old was arrested in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and bailed over abusive phone calls Ms Rayner received a day earlier.

"Enquiries remain ongoing and GMP continues to work in partnership with Cambridgeshire Constabulary and South Yorkshire Police," a police statement said.

Ms Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, reported getting the threatening communications over a number of weeks.

A spokesman for Ms Rayner said after the first arrest was made: "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."

The arrests come at a time of heightened focus on MPs' security and the abuse they receive in the wake of the killing of Sir David Amess.

The Conservative MP for Southend West was fatally stabbed in a suspected terror attack as he held a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex earlier this month.

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