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Man arrested over threats to Indian-origin Brexit challenger

Indian origin Gina Miller had challenged the UK government’s plan to invoke Article 50 to trigger negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union without parliamentary consent.

world Updated: Jan 25, 2017 21:48 IST
European Union,Brexit,Gina Miller
Gina Miller speaks outside the Supreme Court following the decision of a court ruling that Theresa May's government requires parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, in Parliament Square, central London, Britain.(Reuters Photo)

Scotland Yard arrested a 50-year-old man on Wednesday for making “racially aggravated malicious communications” and online threats against an Indian-origin campaigner who had launched a legal challenge against Brexit.

Gina Miller was the lead claimant in the case against the UK government’s plan to invoke Article 50 to trigger formal negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) without parliamentary consent.

The 51-year-old won her case on Tuesday when the Supreme Court ruled that British Prime Minister Theresa May must seek parliamentary consent before triggering the formal Brexit process.

However, the investment fund manager has claimed she has been the target of a number of online attacks and had filed a report against such attacks late last year.

The Metropolitan Police made the arrest from an address at Knightsbridge in central London as part of its Operation Falcon, dealing with such cases of cyber crimes.

“Officers from the Met’s Operation Falcon have arrested a 50-year-old man at an address in Knightsbridge on suspicion of racially aggravated malicious communications. The arrest is in connection with a complaint made to police by a 51-year-old woman relating to threats made online and a second unrelated comment believed to have been made by the same suspect,” a Scotland Yard statement said.

The arrested man remains in custody at a central London police station.

Meanwhile, the Met Police has also issued a number of warnings against other individuals involved in similar online attacks against Miller.

“As part of the same investigation, officers have issued eight cease and desist notices to individuals in various parts of the UK. A cease and desist notice takes the form of a notice served by police advising the recipient that to continue with their current actions or behaviour could result in police action,” the Met Police statement said.

The Met had previously arrested a 55-year-old man on similar suspicion of “racially aggravated malicious communications” against Miller but released him without further action.

Following the Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday, Miller had made a reference to these attacks in her statement, “We are fortunate to have the ability to voice legitimate concerns and views as part of society.”

“I have therefore been shocked by the levels of personal abuse that I have received from many quarters over the last seven months, for simply bringing and asking a legitimate question,” Miller said.

“I sincerely hope that going forward, people who stand in positions of power and profile are much quicker in condemning those who cross the lines of common decency and mutual respect,” she had said.

Miller, who was born in British Guiana as Gina Nadira Singh, is the daughter of Doodnauth Singh, the former Attorney General of Guyana.

First Published: Jan 25, 2017 21:47 IST