Naz Shah: MP dialled 999 and evacuated children from her home after 'immediate firearms threat'

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A Labour MP has said she dialled 999 and evacuated her children from her home in the middle of the night following an "immediate firearms threat".

Naz Shah spoke about the April incident after Sundas Alam, 30, admitted a number of charges at York Crown Court on Thursday relating to sending death threats to the Bradford West MP.

The shadow minister for community cohesion said she has had many death threats before, but this was the first time she has ever dialled 999 because "I really genuinely felt it was an immediate firearms threat".

Ms Shah said that what made these threats even worse was that Alam used cloned email addresses which led to an entirely innocent family being dragged out of their beds by armed police and questioned for 20 hours by officers responding to her alert.

The MP said "I can't imagine what they went through", before adding that the threats "won't stop me doing what I do".

She said: "I'm just grateful to West Yorkshire Police, really. It's really close to home. We've lost two colleagues in the last five years."

She continued: "I've never had to call 999 before, this was the first time.

"It was the length of time between one email and the other. I was thinking 'this is somebody stewing, this is somebody stewing for so many hours' and actually saying 'how do you want this rifle to your head or through the window'."

She said she thought: "Are you telling me you're outside my house?"

"At the time it was really, really real," Ms Shah said.

The MP said she stayed in her home while she waited for the police, but made sure her children were taken to a safe place.

She said: "I've got a thick skin and I just carry on with it but my kids and my family do worry. That causes more concern."

Ms Shah said: "I'm just glad it's over now and I can get back to doing my job.

"It's never nice and you should never have to get used to it, and you should never get used to people threatening your family. It shouldn't be a pre-requisite for doing the job."

She said: "It won't stop me doing what I do."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wrote on Twitter: "My thoughts are with @NazShahBfd and her family for all that they have had to endure. Nobody should have to put up with threats like this. Sadly it's the reality for too many in public life."

York Crown Court confirmed that Alam, of Princeville Street, Bradford, admitted three counts of sending malicious communications and one of perverting the course of justice part-way through her trial.

She was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 29 November.

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