Man sentenced for sending threatening email to Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner

28 October 2021, 16:22 | Updated: 28 October 2021, 16:33

A man has been sentenced for sending Angela Rayner a threatening email
A man has been sentenced for sending Angela Rayner a threatening email. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A man has been handed a suspended sentence for sending deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner a threatening email.

Benjamin Iliffe, 36, from Cambridgeshire, was sentenced at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court to 15 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months after admitting sending the email.

Ms Rayner has received numerous abusive and threatening phone calls, emails and letters in recent weeks.

Ms Rayner thanked the police "for their work during these investigations".

Officers investigating the communications received by the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne also arrested a 70-year-old in South Yorkshire and a 52-year-old in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

The oldest man was arrested on Thursday morning over abusive emails received by Ms Rayner, a mother-of-three, on October 16. He was subsequently bailed pending further enquires.

The 52-year-old, who has also been bailed, was arrested over abusive phone calls she received a day earlier.

Ms Rayner, who is on bereavement leave after losing a loved one, reported receiving the threatening contacts over a number of weeks.

After the first arrest, her spokesman 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."

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.