A NORTH-EAST MP was amongst a number of politicians who suffered harassment by a 64-year-old man.

Robert Vidler of Harrow in London was jailed for 18 weeks for harassing staff that he believed "were trying to delay or stop" Brexit.

In January 2019, Vidler made calls and left voicemail messages at the offices of Nick Boles, Dominic Grieve, Kier Starmer, Nicky Morgan, Barry Gardiner and Labour MP for Darlington, Jenny Chapman.

Vidler also made death threats to Nicky Morgan and Kier Starmer, who both voted to remain in the European Union.

On Monday, January 21, Vidler telephoned Jenny Chapman's parliamentary office and "verbally abused" the MP, while he ended the call saying "We're leaving the EU."

Ms Chapman recently appeared at a Pro-Remain campaign group's meeting within her constituency where she said a no-deal Brexit was "not an option".

The MP said that outcome had never been put forward during the 2016 EU referendum, and has actively supported Britain remaining within the European Union.

At the City of London Magistrates' Court on Friday, August 2, Vidler was found guilty of five charges of harassment without violence and three counts of sending menacing messages.

The messages were seen as a three separate offences in breach of the Communications Act, which defines messages that are either, grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene and menacing nature.

Sarah Jennings from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Vidler denied making the calls despite the extensive evidence shown to him during his police interviews. His actions went far beyond then just expressing his opinion.

"Staff felt alarmed by what he said and took his comments as threats against the MPs.”

Vidler's jailing was delivered just weeks after two men who "deliberately targeted" and smashed the office windows of the Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, Helen Goodman.

Colin Dodds, 44, of Bishop Auckland and Alan Dent, 50, of Shildon were jailed on Monday, July 22 after being convicted of causing criminal damage.

In response Ms Goodman said: "Every day I’m open to a range of different views and perspectives, including those expressing disagreement. But when disagreement turns into disorder and violence this must be challenged. I’m glad that justice will be served in this case, and I would like to thank the officers at Durham Constabulary for their work on this investigation.”

  • Ms Chapman declined to comment on the incident.