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Tue, 29 September 2020

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Police called over ‘menacing’ cards delivered to Labour MPs’ offices following deselection row

Police called over ‘menacing’ cards delivered to Labour MPs’ offices following deselection row

Liz Bates

2 min read

The police have been called after “menacing” cards were left in the in the offices of two Labour MPs who have faced deselection threats.

Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker received the cards alongside a Thomas the Tank Engine toy – which some left-wing activists have referred to as the “deselection express”.

The pair have both criticised Jeremy Corbyn over his anti-semitism stance and have faced votes of no confidence spearheaded by the Labour leader’s supporters in their constituencies.   

The card to Ms Ryan, who is chair of Labour Friends of Israel, was left on her Westminster office desk and wished her “good luck” on a forthcoming holiday in Cyprus.

Responding last night, she told The Telegraph, she considered the card “menacing”, and said it had left her feeling “worried” and “vulnerable”.

She added: “I've been called a snake and a rat, but the idea that somebody was in my office is really upsetting.

"I don't understand how they could know that I was going on holiday to Cyprus. I can only think that they must have gained access to my diary.

“I feel vulnerable that somebody, whoever is behind it, seems to know my movements."

The police’s Parliamentary liaison unit – which is investigating the incident – is working on the assumption that the cards were delivered by someone working in Westminster who has a Parliamentary pass.

Officers will look at CCTV footage to try and identify the culprit.

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said: "He’s made clear that MPs are rightly accountable to their local party members as well as to the electorate and at the same time all politics locally and nationally should be held in a respectful manner and there should be no abuse of any kind.

"If there’s any proof of abusive or inappropriate behaviour by Labour party members, it will of course be investigated and whatever appropriate action will be taken."

Several Labour MPs who have been critical of the party leader, particularly over anti-Semitism, have been subject to no confidence votes and deselection threats.

Speaking at a meeting of Labour MPs on Monday Mr Corbyn said he would "not intervene" in the process as it would be "wrong" for him to get involved "in the democratic rights of any part of the Labour party".

Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum


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