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Man charged after disturbance outside MP Jess Phillips’ constituency office

The Birmingham Yardley MP also revealed details of unrelated death threats she had shared with police.

MP Jess Phillips was not in the office at the time of the alleged attack (PA)
MP Jess Phillips was not in the office at the time of the alleged attack (PA)

By Sam Blewett and Josh Payne, PA

A 36-year-old man has been charged with a public order offence after Labour MP Jess Phillips received threats aimed at “you and your Remain friends”.

Michael Roby was arrested after Ms Phillips said her staff had been confined to her constituency office as a man allegedly kicked the door, tried to smash windows and yelled that the MP was a “fascist”.

The Birmingham Yardley MP said she is “jumpy and worried” after the incident in Yardley Road in Acocks Green, Birmingham, on Thursday afternoon.

Roby, of Vimy Road, Billesley, Birmingham, was charged with a Section 5 public order offence on Friday and released on conditional police bail, West Midlands Police said.

He is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on October 10, the force added.

Ms Phillips told Sky News she had also received unrelated death threats overnight and has been left feeling “jumpy and worried and frightened”, as she revealed the contents of an email she has shared with police.

“Unless you change your attitude, be afraid, be very afraid… wherever you are, keep looking over your shoulder,” it read.

“The person standing behind you may not be friendly. You and your Remain friends have been warned.”

The alleged attack on her office came as Boris Johnson came under scrutiny for his use of “inflammatory” language, with Jeremy Corbyn saying the Tory was encouraging people to act in “disgraceful and abusive” ways.

Ms Phillips said the Prime Minister “isn’t helping” though she does not blame him, but added: “If he doesn’t change his strategy, I absolutely will.”

West Midlands Police said on Friday that a 36-year-old man remained in custody on suspicion of a public order offence and possession of cannabis.

Officers were called to the Yardley Road premises shortly before 2.25pm on Thursday. It was closed to her constituency on Friday.

Ms Phillips was among the MPs to tell Mr Johnson to apologise for his language in the Commons, saying his choice of words had been designed to “inflame hatred and division”.

She tweeted on Wednesday that she had received an “anonymous letter” to her constituency office.

“It was rather prophetic that Boris Johnson should say: ‘I would rather be found dead in a ditch,’” it read.

“That is what will happen to those who do not deliver Brexit.”

Mr Johnson on Friday doubled down on his use of language, refusing to stop calling a law aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit the “surrender act”.

PA

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