Po­lice probe threats against pro-Brexit MPs

China Daily - - HOLIDAY | NEWS - By EARLE GALE in Lon­don earle@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

Po­lice in the UK are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that some­one has is­sued death threats against prom­i­nent Brexit sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing the se­nior Con­ser­va­tive Party politi­cian and Leader of the House of Com­mons, An­drea Lead­som.

The threats were sent anony­mously by an in­di­vid­ual or group that signed it­self “the real 48 per­cent”. The Times news­pa­per re­ported the typed let­ters had been ad­dressed by hand.

“The real 48 per­cent” al­ludes to the ref­er­en­dum vote held in the United King­dom in June 2016 in which 51.9 per­cent of those who voted in­di­cated they wanted the UK to leave the Euro­pean Union. The Guardian news­pa­per said the sender ap­pears to be some­one who wants the UK to re­main within the EU.

Bri­tain has been di­vided since the ref­er­en­dum 19 months ago and the de­bate has raged about whether the vote should have been held, whether the de­ci­sion was the right one, and whether the UK should com­pletely sever its ties with the EU, or main­tain a close re­la­tion­ship.

The Guardian re­ported that four death-threat let­ters have been passed to po­lice, two on Fri­day and two on Mon­day. The Evening Stan­dard news­pa­per added that the re­cip­i­ents were all MPs who strongly sup­ported the Brexit cam­paign. The iden­ti­ties of the other MPs have not been con­firmed by po­lice.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Guido Fawkes web­site re­ported last week that six prom­i­nent donors who fi­nan­cially sup­ported the cam­paign to leave the EU had re­ceived sim­i­lar let­ters.

The Sun news­pa­per said the peo­ple who sent them are be­lieved to have used an on­line list of Brexit donors to iden­tify tar­gets.

Lead­som posted a pho­to­graph on Twit­ter of the let­ter she re­ceived.

It in­cluded the sen­tences: “You have taken lives on our side. Now we will take lives on yours. We are com­ing for you.”

She said on Twit­ter the sender was a coward for writ­ing anony­mously and de­scribed the act as “pretty de­spi­ca­ble”.

Sky News said the Metropoli­tan Po­lice had con­firmed that of­fi­cers are prob­ing the al­leged death threats.

Last week, Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said abuse in pub­lic life was a ma­jor prob­lem that threat­ened democ­racy.

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