David Lammy has insisted he will not be intimidated after he received an email accusing him of striving for black supremacy in the UK and warning him he could suffer the same fate as murdered MP Jo Cox.
A spokesman for Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, who shared an image of the email in a tweet, said the matter had been reported to police. The message, sent to Lammy on Tuesday morning, offered what its sender described as a “friendly warning”.
It went on: “As you attack the White population of Britain in your aims to gain Black Supremacy in this country, remember what happened to Jo Cox. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM but there are those out there who would like to see you suffer the same fate. Be careful!!”
Cox was shot and stabbed to death by Thomas Mair as she made her way to a surgery in her Batley and Spen constituency in June 2016, days before the Brexit referendum. While attacking Cox, Mair was heard shouting: “This is for Britain”, “keep Britain independent”, and “Britain first”, his trial heard. Police later found a library of far-right literature in his home.
Lammy has been outspoken on institutionalised racism. A recent report compiled by the MP concluded that black and ethnic minority suspects still face bias and discrimination in the justice system.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Justice announced that it had agreed to carry forward many of his recommendations, including a radical pilot scheme that could lead to the dropping or deferral of prosecutions in London in an effort to reduce disproportionality in outcomes.
Responding to the email in his Twitter post on Tuesday morning, Lammy said: “Thank you … for your friendly warning and reference to Jo Cox, my friend & colleague who was murdered. However if this is meant to be a subtle way of intimidating me, scaring me or stopping me raising important issues as an elected representative it isn’t going to work.”
On Wednesday, Lammy updated followers. “Thanks for supportive tweets, emails messages and letters I am very grateful indeed,” he tweeted. “This was reported to the police yesterday, and will not put me off fighting for what I believe in.”
A spokesman for David Lammy said: “This email has been reported to the police. Unfortunately, David regularly receives racist abuse, hate mail and threatening communications. This was a particularly disturbing email to receive and the specific reference to Jo Cox is clearly concerning for his wife and children.”
A few hours later on Wednesday, Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, shared an image of a racist Christmas card he said was sent to party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“Stop Labour stealing our white Christmas,” the card declares, over a doctored image of Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, dressed as Santa Claus and hauling away a Christmas tree.
Lewis says in the tweet: “I’m not keen on sharing racist propaganda but I think it’s important folk see the kind of hate Diane is subjected to for doing nothing more than standing up for her beliefs #solidarity.”