British Sikh MP receives threat mail saying ‘watch your back’; security beefed up
Preet Kaur Gill, Britain’s first female Sikh MP, claimed to have received an email threat asking her to ‘be on your guard’ and to tighten her security.
The 50-year-old is the opposition Labor MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston, and a frontbench politician as shadow secretary of state for international development.
According to an interview with ‘GB News’ on Saturday, she said she was concerned for her family’s safety as she carried out her normal duties as an MP and held ‘surgical’ meetings with her local constituents.
“It was very direct. It is a concern because I am in the constituency with my daughters all the time. My family lives there. It really puts it in the context of the type of work you do,” she told the channel.
“This last direct threat worries me. As a woman, if you push yourself forward and want to address injustice and care about issues that affect your constituents, you’ll be faced with people who think it’s okay to say these things to you. I couldn’t believe this person was using his workplace email to make that threat,” she said.
“Normally, most people would probably use an alias, or try different ways to mount some sort of hate campaign. Massive amounts of hate campaigns have also been launched against me through WhatsApp groups,” she added.
She revealed that she had informed West Midlands Police of the threat and used a bodyguard for security.
“It is something I discuss with my team. Not only do I worry about my safety, but theirs as well. I don’t want to limit my operations, I don’t want to go to an appointment-based system, I want to be able to be open and be in my community and make sure people feel like they can have that access to myself,” she noted.
Speaking of her ethnicity, the front-line politician said the first female Sikh MP in the British Parliament could be “quite isolating” in terms of support.
“And so sometimes I think that’s really hard as a woman who gets so much hate and criticism when you’re trying to do something good,” she added.
In December 2021, Gill came under fire on social media for a tweet she later deleted that referred to a “Hindu terrorist” behind the act of violence at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
(with input from AP)
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