Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner tells of impact of death threats on her boys aged 12 and 13, who need police escort, panic buttons and can’t use social media
Image: Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)
Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner says her two youngest sons are living in fear after she received a threat from a stranger warning: “I know where your kids are.”
Angela, 41, has revealed that both Charlie, 13, and Jimmy, 12, have seen the terrifying threat and have since been given a police escort to go to school.
She told the Sunday Mirror: “There are things we’ve had to do to look after them. We’ve got panic buttons in the house and an evacuation procedure.
“My children have wanted to do TikTok and YouTube, they’re at that age where they want to go out and do stuff.
“My children can’t do that, I’ve been very clear on what they can and can’t do. My sons can’t walk to school. They know not to leave the door unlocked.”
Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)
Angela, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, added: “It’s part of being my children unfortunately – it’s part of what they have to go through.
“It’s affected them in terms of their life and they know about some of the threats. One threat said, ‘I know where your kids are’.
“They saw that threat. That upsets me more than the threats that I get, but of course it is not OK to send death threats to MPs and I’m not the only one – it’s particularly female MPs.”
Four arrests have been made in connection to abusive messages sent to Angela, who is also mum to Ryan, 24.
Greater Manchester Police worked alongside Sussex Police in arresting one man in Brighton last month, who has been released on bail.
Angela says she tries not to let the abusive comments bother her by not seeing them as “personal” – even though, she adds: “Some of it is a low blow and unacceptable”.
She told us: “I just do my job and don’t really read the comments.”
Flanked by three GMP officers as she supported striking bus drivers in Oldham, Angela said she is scrutinized for her appearance and attacked more as a northern female MP.
Wearing vegan leather flower boots – among her favorite attire – she said: “Of course it’s just misogynistic the way I’m picked apart. These shoes I’m wearing now are more famous than me.
Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)
“My son bought me these shoes and they were picked apart – they were a gift for my birthday. When people buy me presents and then people hate on it, I’m like, ‘Stop it, my son is going to read that’.”
She added that she is even criticized for straightening her hair, which she joked she still does the “old-school way, with a proper iron”.
After becoming an MP in 2015 she also developed a reputation for straight-talking – and came under fire last year for denouncing Tories as “scum”.
Two weeks ago she joined fellow Greater Manchester MPs Jim McMahon, Debbie Abrahams and Nav Mishra in showing support for the bus drivers, saying they are among millions facing a cost of living crisis due to rising inflation and low pay.
Angela, who grew up in poverty on a Stockport council estate, said: “One of the things that really frustrates me is that I was brought up in poverty, but my mum and dad didn’t have to go to a foodbank.
“I see people now and what they’re having to face and think, ‘How low do we have to go before people see this is inhumane?’”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.