Jess Phillips abuse: Police called to MP’s home three times

Jess Phillips on BBC Breakfast
Image caption Jess Phillips said she would always “stand up” against hatred and division

MP Jess Phillips said the police were called to her house three times over the weekend amid a “massive recent increase” in personal abuse.

The Labour MP told BBC Breakfast she had received hundreds of violent messages since a heated Commons debate on Parliamentary language.

She claimed Boris Johnson had a “direct strategy designed to divide”, which she said was “working”.

The prime minister denies this and said any threats to MPs were “deplorable”.

On Friday, a man was charged in connection with a disturbance at Ms Phillips’ Birmingham Yardley constituency office the day before.

Ms Phillips has been a high-profile critic of Commons language in recent days.

On Thursday, she used the chamber to ask an urgent question on the topic, urging the prime minister to apologise over terms she said risked inflaming “hatred and division”.

“Since last Wednesday of last week I’ve had hundreds of violent messages and abusive emails,” she told the programme earlier. These included abuse on social media as well as direct threats.

Ms Phillips said she “would not claim” she was always “well-tempered” in Parliament.

“I just wish that we could all temper our language and start talking to each other reasonably about a very difficult issue [Brexit],” she said.

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Media caption“I want to ask the prime minister to apologise” – Labour MP Jess Phillips

But she was most concerned over what she believes is Mr Johnson’s “direct strategy to harm” and “rabble rousing”.

“I expect to see a change in his behaviour,” she added. “I expect to see him trying to lead the country with a consensus.”

Mr Johnson has also said “tempers need to come down” in the Commons.

He told the BBC: “I totally deplore any threats to anybody, particularly female MPs, and a lot of work is being done to stop that and give people the security that they need.

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