Angela Rayner Apologises 'Unreservedly' For Calling Tories 'Scum'

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<strong>Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner at party conference in Brighton.</strong> (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner at party conference in Brighton. (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has apologised for describing Conservatives as “scum”.

In a post on her social media channels, the MP said: “I was angry about where our country is headed and policies that have made life harder for so many people I represent.

“But I would like to unreservedly apologise for the language I used, and I would not use it again.”

At her party’s conference last month, Rayner labelled Tories as “scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic”.

She later defended her comments as “street language”.

It came after a court heard how a former delivery driver sent Rayner a threatening email because he felt she was “partially responsible” for the fatal attack on Sir David Amess after she called the Conservative party “scum”.

Benjamin Iliffe, 36, sent a threatening email from his personal account on October 16 and was arrested on Wednesday, Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court heard.

The defendant, who appeared by video-link from Thorpe Wood police station in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, warned Rayner to “watch your back and your kids” in the email.

In a Facebook post after Iliffe was sentenced to 15 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, Rayner said: “While I have been away from the cut and thrust of Parliament I have reflected on our political debate and the threats and abuse that now seem to feature all too often.

“I have also reflected on what I said at an event at Labour Party conference. I was angry about where our country is headed and policies that have made life harder for so many people I represent. But I would like to unreservedly apologise for the language I used, and I would not use it again.

“I will continue to speak my mind, stand up for Labour values and hold the government to account. But in the future I will be more careful about how I do that and in the language that I choose.

“I want to address the threats I have received recently. In the past I have been reluctant to speak out about the abuse that I receive because I fear that doing so will only make the situation worse.

“However, in recent weeks the threats that I have received against my life and the lives of close family have been so terrifying and explicit that I could not stay silent and simply continue to take it as ‘part of the job’.

“They have had a devastating impact on me, my children and others close to me.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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