One Man Charged And Two Arrested Over Accusations Of Sending “Malicious Communications” To Angela Rayner
Rayner said the situation has been “particularly difficult for my children” (Alamy)
Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that one man has been charged and an additional arrest has been made in relation to "multiple reports of threatening and abusive phone calls, emails and letters" to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.
In a statement, the force said a 52-year-old man at an address in Halifax was arrested on Wednesday morning on suspicion of malicious communications.
The arrest is in connection with abusive phone calls received on Friday 15 October, and the man has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.
This morning, in conjunction with South Yorkshire Police, Greater Manchester Police arrested a 70-year-old man on suspicion of malicious communication.
His arrest relates to abusive e-mails received on Saturday 16 October. The individual remains in custody for questioning.
A third man has also now been charged by police in Cambridgeshire in conjunction with the investigation. Benjamin Iliffe, 26, has been charged with malicious communications and possession of cannabis.
He has been remanded into custody and will appear before Huntingdon Magistrates Court later today.
Writing on Twitter yesterday, Rayner thanked the Greater Manchester Police “for their work in this investigation and for supporting me, my family and my staff during this time”.
She added that the situation has been “particularly difficult for my children”.
A spokesperson for Rayner, who is currently away from the Commons on bereavement leave, 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.”
They continued: "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.”
Commenting on the arrest, Detective Sergeant Christopher Dean of Greater Manchester Police’s Tameside district 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 very much remains ongoing and we will continue to pursue all available lines of enquiry to identify all those responsible."
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