Police have arrested a man after deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner received a string of threatening and abusive phone calls.
A 52-year-old was apprehended by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on suspicion of malicious communications at an address in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday morning.
Ms Rayner, a mother-of-three who represents Ashton-under-Lyne, has reported receiving the threatening contacts over a number of weeks.
I want to thank the officers at @GMPTamesideN @gmpolice for their work in this investigation and for supporting me, my family and my staff during this time, which has been particularly difficult for my children. https://t.co/FtNSaRXXs2
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) October 27, 2021
She thanked police for their support and said that the impact of the threats had been “particularly difficult for my children”.
The arrest was directly related to a number of abusive phone calls she received on October 15, GMP said, with the individual being bailed pending further inquiries.
A spokesman for Ms Rayner 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.“
The arrest comes at a time when there is 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 fatally stabbed in a suspected terror attack during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
Ms Rayner is currently on bereavement leave after losing a close loved one and is hoping to return to work “as soon as possible”.
She was recently the subject of criticism, including from senior Conservatives, after she described them as “scum” during the Labour Party conference in late September.
In 2019, she revealed she had “panic buttons” fitted in her home after receiving rape and murder threats on social media.
Greater Manchester Police’s Detective Sergeant Christopher Dean said: “Abusive, threatening or bullying behaviour towards anyone is completely unacceptable and we will always do what we can to ensure those responsible are identified and held accountable for their behaviour.
“Although we have arrested one man our investigation remains very much ongoing and we will continue to pursue all available lines of inquiry to identify all those responsible.”