Angela Rayner speaks out on death threats and apologises for Tory 'scum' comments

Angela Rayner Credit: PA

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner has apologised for comments made at her party's conference where she called Conservatives "scum".

In a statement released on Facebook, the MP for Asthon-under-Lyne also apologised for a strongly-worded attack on the Conservative government, in which she called senior Tories "scum", during her party's conference in Brighton in September.

Labour's deputy leader has described "devastating impact" of recent threats against her.

It comes after a man is sentenced for sending threatening emails against the Shadow Secretary of state.

Angela Rayner said how she had been sent "terrifying" threats against her life, and the lives of close family, and how it had had a 'devastating impact' on her.

"I want to address the threats I have received recently. In the past I have been reluctant to speak out about the abuse that I receive because I fear that doing so will only make the situation worse," the statement read.

"However, in recent weeks the threats that I have received against my life and the lives of close family have been so terrifying and explicit that I could not stay silent and simply continue to take it as ‘part of the job’. They have had a devastating impact on me, my children and others close to me.

"It shakes you when you get these threats. You worry about the safety of your home, your office and everything in your life. And it takes its toll on the people who work for me too."

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner and Labour leader Kier Starmer. Credit: Pa

Ms Rayner's statement continued: "My staff come to work and do their jobs with dedication and professionalism. They bear the brunt of much of this abuse and then get on with their working day. Dealing with death threats and liaising with the police about their safety should not be a standard part of the day-to-day working life of a Member of Parliament or their staff.

"So I want to thank the police officers from Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire Police who have arrested a number of people in recent days and demonstrated the utmost professionalism, courtesy and kindness both in carrying out their investigations and in supporting me, my family and my staff during what has been a very difficult time. I and my team will continue work with them to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.

"After attending a funeral on Monday I will be back to work, rolling my sleeves up and standing up for my brilliant constituents in Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth – along with everyone who needs a Labour government."

Angela Rayner speaks at the Labour Party conference in Brighton Credit: Press Association

Addressing her comments from the Labour Party conference in September, she said: "While I have been away from the cut and thrust of Parliament I have reflected on our political debate and the threats and abuse that now seem to feature all too often.

"I have also reflected on what I said at an event at Labour Party conference. I was angry about where our country is headed and policies that have made life harder for so many people I represent. But I would like to unreservedly apologise for the language I used, and I would not use it again.

"I will continue to speak my mind, stand up for Labour values and hold the government to account. But in the future I will be more careful about how I do that and in the language that I choose."