Anti-Brexit British MP details facing barrage of threats


London (AFP)

Prominent pro-European politician Anna Soubry has revealed the extent of threatening abuse she and family members -- including her elderly mother -- have received amid the rancour in Britain over Brexit.

Soubry, who quit the ruling Conservative Party last month in protest at its stance on the EU and joined the new Independent Group of MPs, said she had been sent bullets as part of the intimidation.

"I had one day which was very bad when there were bullets and there was a really nasty death threat," the lawmaker told a panel discussion on Brexit hosted by The Guardian newspaper Tuesday.

"I don't admit it but I do get frightened.

"My great fear is that something will happen and then everyone will go 'Oh my God, how did that happen?'"

Soubry said the latest threats were sent to her home as recently as Monday.

The MP -- who represents a seat in central England -- is one of the most vocal opponents in parliament of Britons' decision to leave the European Union in 2016.

She has called for Brexit to be reversed through another referendum.

The resulting abuse has had an impact on her family, who have also been on the receiving end, Soubry said.

"My mother... she's 84 and she got this threat. That really upset all of us," she added.

"And they sent an RIP card to my partner, saying your treacherous so and so forth is not going to be anymore.

"So I'm not going home this weekend."

In January dozens of lawmakers wrote to London's police chief to warn about a "deteriorating public order and security situation" around parliament.

The move followed Brexit supporters verbally assailing pro-EU figures there on several occasions, including surrounding Soubry and calling her a Nazi and a traitor.

Soubry is critical of London police's response to the ongoing situation.

"I think the Westminster police, the Met, have been absolutely... useless a lot of the time.

"I actually had one police officer -- a senior... commander -- say (to me) 'the Metropolitan Police does not exist to provide personal protection to Members of Parliament'".

"And (I) just thought do you remember this wonderful woman called Jo Cox?" Soubry said, referring to the Labour MP murdered in 2016 by a far-right sympathiser.

Contacted by AFP, the Metropolitan Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.