Operation Octant measures up

Angela Rayner standing up for Failsworth

Greater Manchester Police confirmed yesterday (11th March, 2022) that their officers had teamed up with Nottinghamshire Police as part of Operation Octant and arrested a 57-year-old woman, in the Hucknall area of Nottingham, on suspicion of malicious communications offences.

This latest arrest relates to abusive emails sent to the Labour Party Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, on 19th February, 2022.

Five arrests have now been made as part of the Octant investigation, resulting in three men being charged and one man being convicted. Benjamin Iliffe, 36, from Cambridgeshire, was sentenced to 15 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to sending malicious communications to Ms Rayner.

It has been previously reported that she cancelled constituency surgeries amid concerns for her safety linked to a wider increase of abuse and threats, including death threats, against her.

Friends said she has been deeply affected by the abuse, which had been taken particularly hard by her children.

Angela Rayner is the MP for Failsworth which is a well known hot-spot for online abuse, identified many times elsewhere on this website and in the local, regional and national press. She has declined to condemn the numerous perpetrators in her own constituency, despite numerous invitations to do so. The most high profile victim in the town remains ex-Council Leader, Sean Fielding, a close friend and political ally, before an evil smear campaign waged against him saw him lose his seat in Failsworth West in the local elections last May (read more here).

Another close friend of Ms Rayner, the present Oldham Council Leader, Cllr Arooj Shah, has also been heavily targeted over the past nine months, in particular. Her principal tormentor, an unemployed 48 year old male from Mossley, Tameside, Raja Miah, remains on court bail awaiting trials over what GMP describe as harassment and malicious communications offences. He robustly denies wrongdoing (read more here).

Anyone with information relating to on-line abuse in Failsworth or Oldham should contact police on 0161 856 9262, via 101, or by using their LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk.

Alternatively details can be passed via the anonymous charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

Page last updated: Saturday 12th March, 2022 at 1635 hours

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Picture credit: Press Association

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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