Police Make Second Arrest In Connection With "Online Abuse" Aimed At Gina Miller

    London's Metropolitan police made the arrest on Wednesday in relation to "aggravated malicious communications".

    Niall Carson / PA WIRE

    London's Metropolitan police have arrested a 50-year-old man on suspicion of racially aggravated malicious communications.

    The arrest, BuzzFeed News has learned, was made in connection with reports of abuse made by Gina Miller, the woman who led the legal case against the government’s process for exiting the European Union and won.

    Miller confirmed the arrest was made in connection with reports of abuse directed at her.

    In an interview with BuzzFeed News on Tuesday after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Miller and her fellow campaigners in the landmark Article 50 case, she spoke of threats she had faced online, including for for her to be hung, shot, and gang-raped.

    She also revealed police had sent eight cease-and-desist letters over the abuse and were pursuing more than 12 other live investigations. Police made a separate arrest in December.

    She praised the police but criticised social media platforms, including Facebook, for not doing enough to cooperate with the police investigating “violent threats” against her. She said the platforms had failed to “provide the police with what they need to track down these individuals”.

    "They have to take responsibility for the content on their website,” she said of Facebook.

    She said it was “absolutely disgraceful” how someone could “post on social media, for example, that I should be gang-raped or that there should be a £5,000 bounty on my head.

    “There has to be monitoring [of content], and they cannot allow people to break the law, because, by inference, you could argue they are allowing sexual violence and violence to be incited."

    In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, Facebook said it could not discuss the detail of her case, but in a spokesperson said in a statement: “There is absolutely no place on Facebook for such threats. That’s why we have a comprehensive reporting system in place and our teams work around the clock to review content reported by our community, and take further action where necessary.

    "We also work with law enforcement where appropriate to ensure the safety of the people who use Facebook.”

    The latest arrest, police confirmed, was made in connection with a complaint made to police on 6 November. It is not known whether the complaint was in relation to any posts made on Facebook.

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

    Contact Sara Spary at sara.spary@buzzfeed.com.

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