Labour has 'made significant progress' says Angela Rayner
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The deputy Labour leader said she had to take action after receiving a threat claiming “I know where your kids are”. The Ashton-under-Lyne MP has become subject to a torrent of online abuse since taking on the high-profile job.
Her youngest sons Charlie, 13, and Jimmy, 12, were left terrified after seeing the messages.
“There are things we’ve had to do to look after them.
“We’ve got panic buttons in the house and an evacuation procedure,” she told the Sunday Mirror.
“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.”
Ms Rayner was first elected to parliament in 2015 and quickly became a prominent figure within the party.
She was appointed shadow education secretary by Jeremy Corbyn in 2016 and was elected as the party’s deputy leader in 2020, less than five years after first becoming an MP.
Reluctantly resigned to the fact being such a well-known political figure comes with increased risk, she said: “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 okay to send death threats to MPs and I’m not the only one – it’s particularly female MPs.”
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Four arrests have been made in connection to abusive messages.
Last October Ms Rayner “unreservedly” apologised for her own comments about Conservatives.
She said sorry for calling Tory supporters “scum” in a late-night, alcohol-infused speech at the Labour party conference a month earlier.
After receiving threats against her and her children she promised to be “more careful” about her language.
She said: “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.”
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