Sadiq Khan targeted with death threats in police 999 calls after Lee Anderson's 'Islamists' rant

Sadiq Khan targeted with death threats in police 999 calls after Lee Anderson's 'Islamists' rant

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was the target of death threats at the weekend, shortly after he was named in MP Lee Anderson’s controversial “Islamists” TV rant.

Ipswich resident Christopher Massey, 52, made threats aimed at the Mayor in two 999 phone calls to Suffolk Police’s control room on Saturday.

He has now admitted charges brought under the new Online Safety Act, and could face a prison term.

Massey admitted making the calls which “conveyed a threat of death or serious harm to another, intending or being reckless as to whether an individual encountering the message would fear that the threat would be carried out.”

The incident happened after Mr Anderson claimed during a GB News broadcast that Mr Khan has “given our capital city away to his mates”.

He said: “I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan, and they’ve got control of London.”

In the wake of the row, the MP refused to apologise and lost the Conservative Party whip as a consequence.

He has since called his words “clumsy” but denied allegations of racism and Islamophobia.

Writing in The Standard on Monday, Mr Khan suggested “blatant anti-Muslim hatred” has been “promoted and tolerated” within the Conservative Party.

He highlighted that cases of Muslims being physically and verbally abused have tripled in the last four months, and suggested anti-Muslim prejudice has become “a daily reality for many on social media”.

“Lee Anderson’s comments have only poured petrol on the fire of this hatred”, he added.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called Mr Anderson’s words “wrong”, while Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall condemned the abuse sometimes directed at Mr Khan.

Suggesting focus should be on his policies, she wrote: “I may be one of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s biggest critics, but I also see the monstrous abuse he gets as one of the country’s most prominent Muslim politicians.

“No one should have to put up with that, and I wholly condemn anyone who does it, or fuels it. His faith is one of his positive characteristics, not something to be suspicious of.”

Massey appeared in the dock at Ipswich magistrates court on Monday, and admitted two charges of sending a communication threatening death of serious harm.He was released on conditional bail until a sentencing hearing on March 21.

Under the terms of his bail, he must co-operate with the probation service, attend the next court hearing, and he is barred from calling 999 other than in a genuine emergency.

The charges were brought under the Online Safety Act, which passed into law last year. Each count carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison.