Prominent Jewish Labour party politician, Ruth Smeeth, admitted to local newspapers in her electoral constituency of Stoke-on-Trent North that she carries a panic button in her pocket, and refrains from using public transport due to death threats. Despite the threats, Smeeth said that she “won’t be bullied by anyone.” In her discussion to Stoke on Trent Live, Smeeth noted that an additional death threat was sent to her constituency office last week, following years of incidents targeting her after party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to power.
Local police said that are investigating the threat and “malicious communication being sent to a local MP.”
“As with every election the police’s role is to prevent and detect crime and enable the democratic process to take place unhindered,” a spokesperson for the local police force said.
Smeeth remarked on the history of death threat made against her, mentioning that she received her first death threat in 2014 after being selected as a candidate for the seat of Stoke-on-Trent North. She also noted that the threats came form both far-left and far-right elements, with half of them being of an antisemitic nature.
Smeeth also said that police ranked her among the top 10 MPs most likely to be targeted by death threats or violence, which she attributes to her being a Jewish woman.
“My house is a fortress, my office is a fortress. I’ve got panic buttons in my house, I carry one in my pocket. I have to live in an environment that no-one should have to live in,” she told the local newspaper.