Dawn Butler, the former shadow women and equalities minister, has gone to the police after being threatened with a torrent of violent and racist abuse for defending the Black Lives Matters protests.

Butler, the Labour MP for Brent Central, was sent dozens of aggressive emails over the weekend, after she wrote in a newspaper article that attempts to blame protesters for a second coronavirus peak was a cynical attempt to suppress demonstrations.

One email said: “There will come a time when you can’t breath[e], and we will all be happy, ” followed by an abusive term.

Another person wrote to say “come the revolution you will be one of the first”, while another said she was from “Londonistan”. Others compared the protesters on Saturday’s march to animals.

Butler wrote in the Metro on Saturday that if there were another peak of Covid-19, the government would be to blame.

“Where was their anger when we saw people flock to the beaches in Devon, Cornwall, Brighton? Or even their indignation when people were forced to cram on to the tube and buses to get to work? The fact that so many people are willing to take to the streets at this time to stand up against racism shows the strength of feeling and the importance of this critical moment.”

Butler has regularly suffered racist abuse and has also spoken out about being mistaken for a cleaner in a lift in parliament. As a former frontbencher under Jeremy Corbyn, she led on a campaign to set up an emancipation educational trust to put historical injustice, colonialism and the role of the British empire on the national curriculum.

Diane Abbott, the former shadow home secretary, responded to Butler online. She tweeted: “A couple of years ago my staff stopped me opening my own mail in order to hide from me most of the racist and abusive stuff. But I know they have been reduced to tears by some of the stuff they have seen.”

The Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi shared on social media an email she had received, which said: “Who gave you immigrants not native to Britain the right to dictate to us British, values and history. Sod off back to your own country of mud huts.”

The sender of the email said Tommy Robinson and Britain First would soon become a political force as the British people were waking up to the riots being caused by immigrants.

In response, Warsi tweeted the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.

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