Sat, 13 Jan 2018
NEWBURY MP Richard Benyon has alerted police after receiving an “extraordinarily vile” letter, which contained threats to harm members of his family.
While Mr Benyon didn’t want to go into exact detail about the nature of the threats, he said the person who sent it had “crossed a line”.
In addition to informing police, Mr Benyon has also taken it to the security team at House of Commons.
The MP tweeted a photograph of the letter on Sunday along with the words “an extraordinarily vile letter bagged for fingerprints and sent to police”.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Mr Benyon said: “I’ve got a thick skin and I’m not going to lose a moment’s sleep, but this was a threat to my family and that’s crossing a line.
“The letter said I should be in prison and if I was ever locked up, the person sending it would ‘sort my family out’.
“It went into more detail about how he would do that, but I’d rather not go into it.
“It was addressed from someone called Colonel James Rolfe, CBE, Berkshire Regiment – but the Berkshire Regiment ceased to exist 30 years ago so I suspect he is using a bogus name.
“I didn’t want to tweet the full contents of the letter, but I’m hoping that someone might be able to recognise the handwriting.”
Mr Benyon said that the letter, which initially started by poking fun at his recent driving ban, also contained a number of homophobic references, including calling the MP a “faggot”.
He said: “The insults are like water off a duck’s back to me.
“To an extent you have to roll with it doing this job, the mad, the sad and the bad.
“However, I have absolute zero tolerance if they threaten people close to me who aren’t involved in politics.”
The House of Commons security team has advised MPs to inform them if they receive any threatening material after Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in 2016.
Mrs Cox, Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen, died after being shot and stabbed multiple times in Birstall, West Yorkshire, during the EU referendum campaign.