A Labour MP who was the target of a neo-Nazi plot to kill her with a machete has received a round of applause in the Commons this afternoon.
Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire, spoke of her ordeal in the chamber and told MPs to ‘do our utmost’ to defend democracy.
It comes after Jack Renshaw admitted purchasing a 19-inch replica Roman sword to assassinate Ms Cooper and exact revenge on a female police officer who was investigating him for child sex offences.
The plan was scuppered by whistle-blower Robbie Mullen, who was at a meeting in a pub when Renshaw announced that he was going to kill Ms Cooper in July 2017.
Ms Cooper, raising a point of order, thanked Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and all MPs for their ‘kindness’ over the ‘last two difficult years’.
Rosie Cooper, the MP for West Lancashire, spoke of her ordeal in the chamber and told MPs to ‘do our utmost’ to defend democracy
Rosie Cooper’s colleagues gave her a lengthy applause in the Commons this afternoon
Ms Cooper, raising a point of order, thanked Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and all MPs for their ‘kindness’ over the ‘last two difficult years’
She said: ‘I was to be murdered to send a message to send a message to the state, to send a message to this place.
‘Members of this house are regularly abused and attacked. Our freedoms, our way of life, our democracy is under threat and we must do our utmost to defend it.
She also asked Home Secretary Sajid Javid to consider the Diplock process, which were judge-only hearings introduced in Northern Ireland in the 1970s for terrorist-related offences following a report by senior judge Lord Diplock.
After a lengthy round of applause, Speaker John Bercow added: ‘I think the spontaneous reaction on both sides of the chamber, joined in by the Leader of the House and other colleagues speaks volumes.
‘And I hope that I speak on behalf of the House in saying that we have the most enormous respect and admiration for the Honourable Lady.
‘She has displayed courage and fortitude of which many people and probably most of us, can only dream.’
It comes after Jack Renshaw admitted purchasing a 19-inch replica Roman sword to assassinate Ms Cooper and exact revenge on a female police officer who was investigating him for child sex offences
‘In the most harrowing of circumstances, faced with an explicit and very real threat to her life from neo-Nazis she has not wilted for a second.
‘She has defended her own rights, she has defended the rights of her constituents, she has defended the rights of all of her colleagues and she’s defended the rights of Parliament as an institution.
‘By this sort of poisonous, fascistic bile, we will not be cowed and the sooner for the purveyors of hate, of fascism, of Nazism, of a death cult realise that, the better.
‘I salute the honourable lady.’
Commons Leader Mrs Leadsom paid tribute to Ms Cooper on behalf of the Government, adding: ‘We all absolutely stand with her.’
Mr Javid echoed the tribute before Mr Corbyn thanked Ms Cooper for her ‘incredible fortitude’ in standing up against the ‘appalling’ threat.
The plot to kill Ms Cooper comes a year after Labour MP Jo Cox was stabbed and shot by far-right extremist, Thomas Mair.
The abuse of MPs rose to prominence in January this year after Tory MP Anna Soubry was abused as she was interviewed by the BBC’s Simon McCoy and Sky’s Kay Burley.
Soubry was branded a ‘Nazi’, a ‘liar’ and a ‘traitor’ by right-wing yellow vest activists.
A litany of abuse has also been levelled, mostly at female MPs, online.
Last month, ahead of International Women Day, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd revealed revealed that she had been called ‘less attractive than Medusa’s fugly sister’
And ex-Labour MP Luciana Berger quit the party due to online abuse, while Labour MP Jess Phillips regularly speaks out about the misogynist tweets she receives.