Blog: Jeremy Corbyn and John Bercow ‘sent murder and decapitation threats’ during Brexit negotiations – Evening Standard

Paul Ritchie, 34, is accused of sending a stream of threats in 2019 to prominent politicians including former Home Secretary Amber Rudd, SNP leader Ian Blackford, and ex-Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. 

Messages allegedly sent to Mr Bercow and the Speaker’s office referenced murdered MP Jo Cox and including the words: “If you thwart Brexit we will decapitate you.”

Ritchie, who lives in a village on the Scottish borders, is accused of sending two messages to Mr Corbyn when he was Labour leader, calling him a “terrorist”, suggesting he should be “hung for treason”, and adding: “Murdering you would be fully justified”.

It is said Ms Rudd, a prominent Remain campaigner, received two threatening messages, including an email stating: “You are definitely going to be assassinated”.

Richie is facing 28 charges of sending an electronic communication conveying a threatening message, with his case listed to be heard at Westminster magistrates court on February 25.

It is said he told Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price that he “deserve(s) to get shot in the face”, asked Ms Swinson if she was “trying to get shot”, and allegedly wrote to Mr Blackford: “I hope you die”.

The messages were all sent between March and August 2019, as the Brexit debate raged across the country and former Prime Minister Theresa May tried and failed to get her deal with the EU approved by Parliament.

Ex-Commons Speaker John Bercow was allegedly sent threatening messages

/ PA

She ultimately left Downing Street in July 2019, to be replaced by Boris Johnson.

Ritchie, who has not yet entered any pleas to the charges he faces, is also accused of targeting leading Remainers Chuka Umunna and Dominic Grieve.

It is said he told Mr Umunna “we will kill you and your entire family”, and allegedly wrote to Mr Grieve: “If you stop Brexit we will decapitate you”.

Dr Phillip Lee, a Conservative minister who resigned from the government over Brexit before defecting to the Lib Dems, was allegedly told: “If you bring down the government you will be murdered and your family will never be safe”.

And Ritchie is accused of writing to outspoken former Conservative MP Rory Stewart to say he is “likely to be assassinated”.

Lawyers for Ritchie have written to the court asking for his first court appearance to be delayed until April, or to appear via videolink if the February 25 hearing takes place.

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