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Death threats shadow minister Pat Glass will not stand again as MP

Published 28/06/2016

Labour MP Pat Glass stayed away from her referendum count after death threats were made against her
Labour MP Pat Glass stayed away from her referendum count after death threats were made against her

A pro-Europe Labour shadow minister who had death threats made against her has said she will not stand again as an MP.

Pat Glass did not attend the referendum count after police received four threats about the North West Durham MP, who was promoted on Monday from shadow Europe minister to shadow education minister.

She has written to the chairman of her constituency Labour Party, explaining that she found the last six months "very, very difficult" and described the referendum as "bruising".

In the letter to Fraser Tinsley, she said it had been a privilege and an honour to serve the people where she grew up.

Elected in 2010, she had not intended to serve beyond 2020, but has announced she will still step down if there is a general election before then, possibly as soon as October.

She wrote: "Whilst I had always intended to do no more than two terms in Parliament I have found the last six months very, very difficult.

"The referendum has been incredibly divisive, it divided families and communities and I have found it bruising in many respects.

"It has had an impact on both me and my family as I am sure it has had on many others."

Threats against her were received by the police and a member of her family was sent a malicious email.

The threats were taken seriously enough by the police for her to be warned, she said.

Speaking earlier about the messages, she said: "Police advice was that it was best to avoid being in places I was expected to be and I decided not to attend the count."

She added: "To some extent people like me put ourselves out there but stuff directed at our families is beyond the pale."

It was understood she would normally ignore anonymous threats as the work of "keyboard warriors" but following the killing of her parliamentary colleague Jo Cox, Mrs Glass took them seriously.

Durham Police confirmed they were investigating.

A spokeswoman said: "Several pieces of information have come to our attention regarding malicious communication towards Pat Glass MP.

"We have been working with Mrs Glass to progress enquiries while offering advice and support during the investigation.

"A specific threat was dealt with by officers in Consett last week, working with Mrs Glass' office appropriate action was taken and the threat negated.

"No specific instruction not to attend a count in Mrs Glass' constituency was ever discussed."

Mrs Glass campaigned for Remain and apologised after causing controversy in Derbyshire when she was recorded calling a local voter a "horrible racist".

She had a majority of more than 10,000 at the last general election.

In County Durham, where her constituency stands, Leave received 57.5% of the vote.

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