Arrest made over death threats to Yvette Cooper MP

Yvette Cooper MP is "scared" in the current political climate, her husband, former Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls has said.
Yvette Cooper MP is "scared" in the current political climate, her husband, former Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls has said.

A person was arrested for making death threats against Yvette Cooper MP, her husband has revealed.

Former Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls revealed that a person was arrested last week after making death threats against his wife, who has served as MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford .

Mr Balls, who has been married to Ms Cooper since 1998, said he believed Ms Cooper, and many other female MPs, were "scared".

Speaking on ITV's This Morning, he said: "I think she's scared too. "I think particularly women MPs, Labour and Conservative, have had a lot of these threats.

"And nobody knows if it's on the internet (or) a lone wolf, and then you have these people whose windows are being broken and office attacks, and it just feels as though things have gotten out of control."

"It's legitimate for people to have disagreements, we should argue about things, but you don't have to do so in a way which is so, not angry, but venomous," said the former shadow chancellor.

"And I think what Ellie was saying in her article, which as I say rather took us aback, was that politicians have got to calm this down, starting at the top.

"We've got to find a way to bring people together and start treating each other with civility, rather than all this violent language."

It comes just days after the couple's 20-year-old daughter Ellie took to Twitter to criticise Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his us of language.

Speaking about his daughter's tweets, Mr Balls said: "It's a very funny thing. We've spent all of our political lives making sure that our children are not in the news. Ellie's now 20 and she just decided that she wanted to say something.

"Like lots of MPs, Yvette has had lots of threats and lots of people arrested. There was someone last week for a death threat, and so I think the combination of the children knowing that, and seeing the security, which all MPs have now, alongside language which was so confrontational and angry, she was upset about it."

Asked if he would return to politics, the former Morley and Outwood MP said he felt that "things have gotten out of control" in the wake of the 2016 referendum

He said: "I don't think I want to be there at the moment, it's pretty awful.

"It's not going to happen and, as we're talking about, I'm doing very different things now. And supporting Yvette trying to do the right thing, as all these MPs are trying to do."