Joan Ryan, the MP who quit Labour last month over the party’s “culture of antisemitism”, has called the police after receiving two death threats in the wake of her departure.
Ms Ryan has been subjected to a torrent of online abuse following her departure, but has now had to file a report with police after two threats made against her – one of which was hand delivered to her office in parliament.
The former chair of Labour Friends of Israel received an unstamped handwritten note to her Commons office, which branded her a “****-sucking, Jewish c*** who defected to Israel”. It said she should be “raped” and “set on fire”, the Mail on Sunday reports.
The other letter, sent the day before, said, ‘Stop telling lies about Jeremy Corbyn – he is a decent man, you lying Jew whore. You need to be shoved right back in the ovens.’
The Enfield North MP, who became the eighth politician to join The Independent Group said her staff had been notified of a black car that was parked near her constituency office with three men inside. The car reportedly stayed there for a number of hours on the days the letters were delivered.
The MP said she feared they were deliberately keeping her under surveillance and has reported the registration number to the police.
Ms Ryan, 63, is not Jewish but said Labour had “become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism,” under Jeremy Corbyn when she left.
In an interview with Sky News on Sunday, Ms Ryan said:
“It’s not about the number of individuals. Institutional racism is about racism within your very organisational structures within your processes. And I think the fact that over three and a half years they have not managed to deal with this problem in any way that eradicates it demonstrations that it is institutionally racist, they don’t understand the problem and they are not taking the measures needed to tackle it.”
“Jennie Formby came to the parliamentary Labour party… she’s the general secretary, and she said, we’re foolish if we think we can completely eradicate anti-Semitism. So the question is, how much anti-Semitism is okay then? How much do we have to put up with? It’s completely wrong that she should take such an approach. It’s completely wrong that they are not putting in place processes that really deal with the problem and the real reason they’re not is because they don’t want to acknowledge the problem. And they can’t acknowledge it because it is part and parcel of their politics. Sadly.”
“I don’t think that the Labour party is really going to be able to resolve this problem. And before Jeremy Corbyn became leader we never had this problem in the Labour party. It is intimately related to their politics, to their organisation and to the processes that now operate in the Labour party. And I have no confidence that they can and will eradicate it.”