The shadow home secretary said she receives threats of “rape and violence on a daily basis” both online and to her constituency office in Hackney, east London.
Speaking to a police conference in central London, Ms Abbott said: “Just yesterday the police came to my office to collect some of the letters we receive on a daily basis threatening rape, threatening violence. Hate-filled letters.”
Her words come days after Thames Valley Police was forced to apologise for retweeting a joke targeting the shadow home secretary.
Ms Abbott revealed the fresh abuse at a time when there is a national debate over whether misogyny should be brought under hate crime laws.
The government has ordered the Law Commission to carry out a review of whether sex and age should be added to “protected characteristics” that currently cover race, religion, gender identity, sexuality and disability.
On Wednesday, one of the UK’s most senior police officers said she did not want to see misogyny or misandry classed as hate crimes, and called for a return to “core policing” amid a nationwide rise in recorded crime and violence.
Chief Constable Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said the public rightly expect “the basics – responding to emergencies, investigating and solving crime, and neighbourhood policing”.
She said police will comply with any new offences approved by parliament but that resources were “stretched” for traditional crime.
“We all think misogyny and misandry are an issue,” she told journalists. “I’m questioning whether a criminal offence is the best way of dealing with what is essentially an issue about how we all treat each other.”
Ms Abbott said she supported making misogyny a hate crime but called for the government to fund police so they are not forced to “pick and choose” what they respond to. Read more
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