Former MP Paula Sherriff says cops 'laughed' at death threat man left on her voicemail

Ex-Dewsbury MP also said police took “several weeks” to respond when a swastika was found at her office door

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Paula Sherriff says police ‘laughed’ when she received death threat

Former MP Paula Sherriff has told how cops “laughed” when she complained about a death threat a man left on her voicemail.

The ex-Labour politician has also claimed police took “several weeks” to respond when swastikas were found at her office door.

It comes as fears mount over MPs’ safety in the wake of the violent death of Sir David Amess, who was stabbed while at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Friday.

Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of Sir David’s murder and is being quizzed by counter terrorism officers.

The shocking incident follows the murder of Jo Cox in 2016.

Ms Sherriff, who lost her seat in 2019, said a man was “continually harassing” her over a two-month period on an “incessant basis” when she served as MP for Dewsbury.

St Michael and all the Angels Church in Leigh-on-Sea today held a service in memory of Sir David Amess. Photograph by Steve Bainbridge.


©2021 Steve Bainbridge)

Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed in 2016


Huddersfield Examiner)

But when she complained to West Yorkshire Police, she said cops visited the man alleged to be behind the threats “and told him that they sympathised with him”.

“When somebody was leaving swastikas at my office door, the police took several weeks to actually view the CCTV that we then managed to obtain to establish if we could see who was actually doing it,” she told Sky News.

“Then they wrote to me to tell me that the man who had been doing it was having trouble sleeping.

“When we received a death threat at my office by telephone, it was somebody who had left a message on the answer phone, the police came to my office and they laughed.

“And then when a man was continually harassing me over a period of months on an incessant basis, the police went out to see him and told him that they sympathised with him.”

The Mirror has contacted West Yorkshire Police for comment.

The former MP was among those who begged Boris Johnson to condemn the use of inflammatory language such as “betrayal” and “surrender act” during the heated debates on Brexit in 2019.

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons


AFP via Getty Images)

She said MPs “should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language”.

Ms Sherriff added: “And we stand here, Mr Speaker, under the shield of our departed friend [the murdered MP Jo Cox] with many of us in this place subject to death threats and abuse every single day.

“And let me tell the prime minister that they often quote his words, ‘surrender’, ‘betrayal’, ‘traitor’, and I for one am sick of it. And it has to come from the prime minister first. So I would be interested in hearing his opinion, he should be absolutely ashamed of himself.”

The Prime Minister replied that he had “never heard so much humbug in my life”.


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