Angela Rayner ‘burst into tears’ after being blamed for death of Tory MP Sir David Amess

Angela Rayner 'wrong' for 'scum' comment says Leadbeater

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The deputy Labour leader received an onslaught of abuse after the Conservative MP was killed while attending a constituency surgery on October 15 last year. Stuart Kelly, 53, and Michael McGrath, 70, both admitted to sending offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages to Ms Rayner yesterday.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that both men linked the Ashton-under-Lyne MP’s comments calling Conservatives “scum” at the Labour Party conference in September to Sir David being stabbed to death.

On the day of Sir David’s killing, Kelly left three voicemail messages for Ms Rayner at her constituency office during a 30-minute period.

One said: “I hope you get shot. You contributed to his death, you dirty scum”, and in another he told her: “Well done, he’s a father-of-five. Well done, you’re a great MP.”

In the third message, Kelly said: “Murderer, f****** murderer.”

Former barber McGrath sent an email to Ms Rayner’s office early the next day branding the Labour deputy leader a “vile b****” and “tasteless lefty scum”.

At the Labour Party’s annual Conference in Brighton last year, the deputy leader launched into a tirade against the Tories.

She told a reception for activists: “We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute vile piece of banana republic, vile, nasty, Etonian, piece of scum.”

Ms Rayner later apologised “unreservedly” for her remarks saying she had reflected our political debate” and the “abuse that now seems to feature all too often”.

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.

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“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.”

In a statement to the court yesterday Ms Rayner said she is “no stranger” to criticism but that she had been left “frightened” following the abuse she received.

“When I saw the contents of the email together with the voicemails I burst into tears,” she said.

“It made me feel extremely upset.

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“I believe I have quite a thick skin when it comes to name-calling and nasty comments, but this was in a completely different category.

“I am scared out of my wits, not only for my own safety but also the safety of my family, children and staff.

“This has left me frightened and caused me to question the job I do.”

She added: “The fact these people are trying to link the death of an MP to me is absolutely devastating.

“For people to say I’m responsible for the death of David Amess has caused me genuine distress.”

Kelly, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, woke up the next morning and “remembered what he done and felt regret”, prosecutor Jonathan Bryan said.

Meanwhile, the court heard that McGrath, from Sheffield, who has bowel cancer, later sent an apology email to Ms Rayner.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring granted Kelly, who has been to court 27 times for 50 offences, unconditional bail as he adjourned sentencing to April 14, but warned him he faces time in jail.

McGrath was handed a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay a total of £413 in costs and compensation, including £200 to the MP.

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