The police have launched an investigation into racist abuse and a death threat made against the London MP David Lammy following the EU referendum.
The MP for Tottenham said he had received thousands of abusive emails, telephone calls and threats on Twitter and Facebook since he called eight days ago for a second vote.
The Metropolitan police has confirmed it is also investigating allegations of a post on a rightwing organisation’s Facebook page suggesting Lammy should be shot like Jo Cox, the MP who was killed in her constituency of Batley and Spen.
“We can confirm we have received allegations of malicious communications through social media. The matter is being investigated. No arrests have been made at the time and inquiries continue,” a spokesman said.
Lammy said he had reported all threats to the police, who he said were being “very supportive” and “proactive”. The abuse increased after Lammy called for a second referendum eight days ago.
One Twitter user told him to “go back to Africa” and then racially abused him. The tweet was sent from an account featuring a swastika and going by the name of “Whitey” and “PureWhitePower”.
Lammy reported the tweet and answered: “I’m not going anywhere. I was born in this country. But you and your disgusting racist views make me ashamed.”
The police have confirmed they were also investigating the tweet by “Whitey”. A spokesman said: “Inquiries continue, no arrests have been made at this stage.”
The account has been blocked after reports to Twitter of a breach of the social network’s terms and conditions. A spokesman for Twitter said: “Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter and we will continue to tackle this issue head on.”
“I am very sad about the wave of intolerance, racism and bigotry that has been unleashed following the referendum,” said Lammy, a former lawyer who was the first black Briton to study at Harvard Law School.
His spokesman said: “We have had thousands and thousands of hate messages, on his email, via the post. People have called the office and abused staff.”
he abuse comes amid a fivefold increase in the number of reported hate crimes since 23 June, including an attack on a Polish cultural centre in west London, dozens of Islamophobic leaflets put through doors in Birmingham and reports that far-right leaflets were distributed in parts of West Yorkshire.
A police inquiry has been launched in Manchester after vulnerable pensioners were forced to evacuate a day centre after receiving threats of “a backlash against the black community”. A firebombing of a halal butchers in Walsall, West Midlands is also being investigated.
On Sunday, the police launched an investigation after a memorial to former Labour party leader Michael Foot in Freedom Fields Park in Plymouth, Devon, was daubed with fascist graffiti and swear words.
The stone tribute to the politician, who led the party from 1980 to 1983, was daubed with swastikas and references to the British National party and English Defence League.
A series of “unity events” were being held outside rail and tube stations in London on Monday to show support for people affected by the increase in racist and xenophobic abuse since the EU referendum result.
London Citizens, the community-organising alliance, said the aim was to show solidarity with communities. Many London Citizens members have faced abuse personally. They will spread the message “Love London. No place for Hate”.
Written by Lisa O’Carroll, Published on the Guardian website