“I really genuinely felt it was an immediate firearms threat."
Labour MP Naz Shah has described how she and her family were forced to flee her home in the middle of the night after what she feared was “an immediate firearms threat”.
Ms Shah made the revelation after Sundas Alam, aged 30, of Bradford, admitted three counts of sending malicious communications and one of perverting the course of justice part-way through her trial.
Alam was remanded in custody and she will be sentenced on November 29, 2021.
Bradford West MP Naz Shah said she has received many death threats before.
However, this was the first time she called the police because “I really genuinely felt it was an immediate firearms threat”.
Ms Shah explained that what made Alam’s threats worse was that she used cloned email addresses.
This resulted in an innocent family being dragged out of their beds by armed police and questioned for 20 hours after officers responded to Ms Shah’s alert in April 2021.
She said: “I can’t imagine what they went through. It won’t stop me doing what I do.
“I’m just grateful to West Yorkshire Police, really. It’s really close to home. We’ve lost two colleagues in the last five years.
“I’ve never had to call 999 before, this was the first time.
“It was the length of time between one email and the other.
“I was thinking ‘this is somebody stewing, this is somebody stewing for so many hours’ and actually saying ‘how do you want this rifle to your head or through the window’.”
Ms Shah said she thought: “Are you telling me you’re outside my house?”
She stated: “At the time it was really, really real.”
Ms Shah said she remained inside her home while she waited for the police. But she made sure her children were taken to a safe place.
“I’ve got a thick skin and I just carry on with it but my kids and my family do worry. That causes more concern.”
“I’m just glad it’s over now and I can get back to doing my job.
“It’s never nice and you should never have to get used to it, and you should never get used to people threatening your family.
“It shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for doing the job.”
In August 2019, Stewart Hanson was jailed for 12 weeks after he sent offensive emails to Naz Shah.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his thoughts were with Ms Shah and her family “for all that they have had to endure”.
He added: “Nobody should have to put up with threats like this.
“Sadly it’s the reality for too many in public life.”