DEATH threats have been made to Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson during a series of abusive phone calls, it is claimed.

Mr Stephenson said threats of violence were also made against two of his staff members.

He said the calls were made after threatening posts were left on the Pendle Conservatives Facebook page last Tuesday.

It is understood one person, who is not a constituent, has been arrested.

The Conservative MP said: “A death threat was made towards me and threats of violence against my case workers.

“We reported it to Lancashire Police who were very responsive and I thank them for that. I believe someone has been arrested.”

Mr Stephenson said he has received death threats before but has noticed a significant increase in generally abusive comments since the general election.

“They tend to be comments made on social media which have also been investigated by police but this was the first time we had somebody phoning the office and making threats.

“It is unacceptable.

“I have never known anything like it in terms of the amount of abuse online and some of it offline.

“There were posters being defaced and set on fire. There were threats of violence made towards people displaying my posters. It became very sinister.

“I have been a member of Parliament for seven years and I have never known it be so bad.

“When I speak to female colleagues some of the abuse they get is far worse than I have.

“There is a debate planned in Parliament to discuss some of the things that went on during the election campaign.

“It is cross-party and is looking at what we can do to bring a bit of civility to the discourse.”

He also spoke of the increase in security since the murder of MP Jo Cox.

“Every politician reviewed the way they did things. It would not dissuade me from doing my job and from attending events but you do double check and take precautions,” he said.

Cllr Joe Cooney, who works in Mr Stephenson’s office, said: “We do get abuse and people think they can be rude but thankfully the level of seriousness of this one is the first I have come across. It is quite unnerving.

“He was quite deliberate. He was calm and collected and knew what he was saying. He was making the phone call to make a threat.”

Lancashire Police confirmed they had passed details of the incident to Staffordshire Police.