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Angela Rayner lived ‘in fear’ after being blamed for David Amess death

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eputy Labour leader Angela Rayner broke down in tears and was left scared to leave the house after she was blamed for the killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, a court heard.

The Labour politician’s office received three phone messages from 53-year-old Stuart Kelly in the wake of the deadly attack on Sir David at a constituency surgery last October.

Westminster magistrates court heard Kelly linked the killing of the Conservative MP to Rayner because of her comments last year labelling Tories as “scum”.

In one of the messages, he simply said: “Murderer. F***ing murderer.”

In the early hours of the following morning, Rayner’s office received an email from Sheffield resident Michael McGrath, 70, who branded her a “vile bitch” and “tasteless lefty scum”.

“Hope it never happens to you,” he wrote. “I bet you will be celebrating.”

Sir David Amess was stabbed to death during a constituency surgery in September 2021 (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

/ PA Wire

Both men today appeared in the dock to admit sending abusive messages to the MP.

In a victim impact statement, Rayner said she was “absolutely devastated” at receiving the abuse which left her contemplating leaving politics.

“When I saw the contents of the email together with the voicemails I burst into tears,” she said. “It made me feel extremely upset.

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

“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.”

The MP said she took to carrying a panic alarm with her around the house, adding: “For people to say I am responsible for the death of David Amess has caused me genuine distress.”

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring adjourned the sentencing of Kelly, from Halifax, to April 14, and warned him he could face a jail term.

The court heard he left three voicemail messages for Rayner over a 30-minute period, saying in one: “I hope you get shot. You contributed to his death, you dirty scum.”,

In another, he told the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside: “Well done, he’s a father-of-five. Well done, you’re a great MP.”

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

He told police after his arrest that he had been drinking that evening, and made the calls after wrongly linking the MP to news of Sir David’s murder.

McGrath, who later sent an apology email to Rayner, was given 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.

“There is no doubt in my mind, whether you are in public service as an MP or perhaps as a judge or a member of the royal family, it does not make you any less susceptible to attack or any less susceptible to feelings about that”, said the judge.

Both defendant pleaded guilty to a single charge of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message.

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