Man charged over death threats to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner
- 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).
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.
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.
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.
"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."