Sundas Alam trial: Yorkshire woman, 30, admits sending death threats to Bradford West MP Naz Shah - whose children had to flee their home

Labour MP Naz Shah has described how her children were forced to flee her home in the middle of the night after she dialled 999 following “an immediate firearms threat”.

Ms Shah, who is shadow minister for community cohesion, was speaking after Sundas Alam, 30, admitted a number of charges at York Crown Court on Thursday relating to sending death threats to the Bradford West MP.

Read More

Read More
Read more: Naz Shah MP wins apology

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She said she has had many death threats before, but this is the first time she has ever dialled 999 because “I really genuinely felt it was an immediate firearms threat”.

Naz Shah is MP for Bradford West

Ms Shah said that what made Alam’s threats even worse was that she used cloned email addresses which led to an entirely innocent family being dragged out of their beds by armed police and questioned for 20 hours by officers responding to her alert in April.

“I can’t imagine what they went through,” the MP told the PA news agency.

But Ms Shah said: “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.”

She added: “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’.”

She said she thought: “Are you telling me you’re outside my house?”

“At the time it was really, really real,” Ms Shah said.

The MP said she stayed in her home while she waited for the police, but made sure her children were taken to a safe place.

She said: “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.”

Ms Shah said: “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.”

She said: “It won’t stop me doing what I do.”

York Crown Court confirmed that Alam, of of Princeville Street, Bradford, admitted three counts of sending malicious communications and one of perverting the course of justice part-way through her trial.

She was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on November 29.

In August 2019, Stewart Hanson, 57, of The Woodlands, Tranmere, was jailed for 12 weeks after sending offensive emails to Ms Shah.