A man who left Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry fearing for his safety faces jail after admitting harassing him.

Over a period of almost a year Michael Glendinning, from Whitworth, left a number of voicemail messages on the MP’s work phone threatening to harm him.

The 56-year-old had initially denied the offence but changed his plea to guilty earlier this month and on Monday he will appear at Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced.

The particulars of the offence reveal that between March 1 in 2020 and January 5 of this year, at Rossendale, Glendinning caused Mr Berry to fear that violence would be used against him by his course of conduct which he knew or ought to have known would cause fear of violence to Mr Berry on each occasion in that various voicemails were left making threats to harm Mr Berry.

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Glendinning, of Edgemoor Close in Shawforth, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Mr Berry, who was elected as Rossendale and Darwen MP in 2010, thanked the police for bringing Glendinning to justice and said that while he welcomed “robust political debate” his actions had gone far beyond this.

In a statement issued to LancsLive Mr Berry said: “My team and I would like to thank Lancashire Police for all the support they have received over this difficult period.

“The challenges of being in public life are well documented, however when people move beyond robust political debate to intimidation and threats of violence, it is right that both the police and courts take action.”

There have been repeated calls for greater protection for public figures who are subjected to abuse and intimidation following the murder of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox in 2016.

The Labour MP was shot three times by Thomas Mair after she attended a constituency surgery near Leeds. Mair later claimed his actions had been inspired by his political ideology and he had killed the MP because she did not share his views.

In 2019, Alden Bryce Barlow, 55, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, sent a letter to MP Anna Soubry in her constituency in Nottingham. The message read: "Cox was first, you are next" and referred to Ms Soubry as "treacherous" and "worthless".

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