Tory rebel MP receives threatening message after losing confidence vote

Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach. Photograph: UK Parliament.

Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach. Photograph: UK Parliament. - Credit: Archant

An MP who was sacked by Boris Johnson for rebelling on Brexit has received a threatening message by email.

Antoinette Sandbach tweeted a picture of a message she had received which included what appeared to be a death threat.

Along with the picture of the message, she wrote: "This in my inbox this morning."

The MP is currently appealing over the suspension of the Tory whip, following the prime minister's decision to strip her of it after she voted with opposition MPs to take control of the Commons order paper last month.

In a statement to constituents she said: "That politics has become so toxic that people see fit to send lies, abuse and even death threats to me is a sign that our democracy is ailing.

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"However, I have always stood up to bullies, and these kind of threats will not stop me from doing my job - representing you."

She added: "Perhaps my daughter Sacha said it best at the vote last night, when she saw how unpleasant some members of the local Conservative Party were.

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"She told them that 'some of the language you adults use we wouldn't be allowed to use at school.

"'We are taught respect, and values, and I don't see that in the way some people have behaved towards my mother.

"'She has taught me to stand up to bullies, and I watch and hear as you spread lies and gossip about her that isn't true.

"'You should be proud of her rather than undermining her."'

Parliamentary colleagues offered their support following the abuse, including former Tory chancellor Philip Hammond, another of the ousted 21 MPs.

He tweeted: "A committed and hard working MP, a moderate One Nation conservative, and someone who voted for a Brexit deal that would have seen us leave on March 29th.

"It's sad and perplexing when good people like Antoinette are forced out."

Amber Rudd, who recently quit the cabinet and the party, tweeted: "Nobody should be receiving this sort of abuse.

"Anyone who does, should have sympathy, protection, support. To Antoinette I offer my admiration for her principles and courage.

"No 10 campaign must moderate its langauge (sic) & tone to MPs or we will see more of this."

Sandbach lost a vote of confidence among members of her local Conservative Party association on Tuesday night.

The vote was symbolic but it opens the door to formal deselection.

Sandbach complained of "entryism" and said she was granted only three minutes to set out her defence.

She said: "This is obviously deeply disappointing, but I won't allow an unrepresentative handful of people decide who gets to be the MP for tens of thousands of Eddisbury voters.

"All my constituents can rest assured that I will continue to represent them in parliament, standing up for a sensible, pragmatic Brexit deal and confirming that it is what the people want through a 'final say' confirmatory referendum."

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