Metropolitan Police counter terrorism command is providing special protection to Labour MP Ruth Smeeth after she was the subject of an anti-Semitic and homophobic online rant.
Specialist officers are investigating the threat in conjunction with the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command. They were called on following the anonymous 1,000-word attack on the Stoke-on-Trent North MP, who is Jewish.
Facebook staff have been asked to help identify the person responsible for the comments.
Ms. Smeeth was branded a “yid”, “dyke”, and a “CIA agent” in the highly offensive rant which is reported in The Sun.
The abuser finishes the post by saying: “Ruth Smeeth is British and from my perspective since treason is still a capital offence in Britain, the gallows would be a fine and fitting place for this Dyke piece of Yid s*** to swing from.”
The threat was issued in July, soon after the MP fled the launch of Labour’s report into anti-Semitism in tears after being accused by a Momentum activist of colluding with the right-wing press. In the hours after she left that event, she said she was sent 25,000 abusive messages – and claimed it was done in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s name.
Ms. Smeeth said she will not be intimidated by such threats and called on Mr. Corbyn to name and shame those responsible. She told the BBC that Mr. Corbyn could “personally do something” to stop the online attacks:
“This is being done in his name, not by him, but in his name. He should be naming and shaming some of the worst perpetrators and making it clear publicly that they do not speak for him – that this is unacceptable.”
In a statement to the BBC, Mr. Corbyn’s office said: “No abuse is carried out in Jeremy’s name and no one responsible for abuse is a genuine supporter of Jeremy’s, who has repeatedly called for a kinder gentler politics.”
Despite the threats, Ms. Smeeth told the Sentinel newspaper she will carry on with her work:
“Staffordshire Police and the counter-terrorist police in London have been extraordinary. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive.
“They do an amazing job and have done no less for me than they would for my constituents, which is incredibly reassuring.
“They have reviewed all the arrangements at my offices, in Stoke-on-Trent and London, and my accommodation. But I am adamant this won’t change the way I deal with things.”
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