Labour MP Jess Phillips has tweeted a photograph of a locksmith beefing up security at her home after receiving a mocked-up image which portrayed her demise. Phillips, who has consistently spoken out against sexist and violent bullying online, wrote: "Locksmith spending 6hrs to make my home safe. Think about how my kids feel next time you mock up a picture of me dying."
The 34-year-old MP for Birmingham Yardley has not revealed the precise contents of the message she received, but the abuse intensified after she helped spearhead the "Reclaim the internet" campaign. As a consequence she received over 600 rape threats in one night.
In the wake of the murder of fellow Labour MP, Jo Cox, a number of female politicians have contacted police about threats they received. Angela Eagle, who briefly announced her intention to stand against leader Jeremy Corbyn before stepping aside for Owen Smith, had a window in her constituency office smashed and was forced to temporarily halt drop-in appointments.
Last week Phillips was one of 44 Labour MPs who wrote to Corbyn expressing concern at "an extremely worrying trend of escalating abuse and hostility" and called on the leader to condemn the abuse. John McDonnell and other shadow ministers were accused of being present at meetings where bullying was "actively encouraged or quietly condoned". The letter, posted online by Paula Sherriff, ended with the statement: "Jeremy, this is being done in your name."
Corbyn, who defeated a legal challenge which would have prevented him from re-standing as leader against Owen Smith because he had insufficient support from MPs and MEPs, has consistently said he condemns bullying. In a statement his office said: "He has consistently condemned all abuse and called repeatedly for a kinder, gentler politics. No demonstrations outside MPs' offices or surgeries will be tolerated, nor will abuse of any kind."