A Labour MP has slammed broadcaster ITV for turning a plot to kill her into a “stupid, stupid, stupid” drama series.
Ms Cooper, MP for West Lancashire, urged the broadcaster and a campaign group – Hope not hate (Hnh) – to hand over all the money made from the series “The Walk In” to the Jo Cox Foundation.
Ms Cox was a Labour MP murdered in 2016.
The peak-time drama starred Stephen Graham as Hnh activist Matthew Collins who was tipped-off about a threat against Ms Cooper.
His work with an undercover agent led to the arrest and jailing of a neo-Nazi who had bought a machete to kill the MP
Ms Cooper told the Commons:
“I am appalled at ITV’s recent treatment of the threats to MPs.
“I have been used as a marketing tool by both Hope not hate and ITV.
“What excuse is there for a press release that says ‘Who is Rosie Cooper, and who wanted to murder her?’
“There is no defence to that.
“So, let’s test the public defence, the public interest defence, to their despicable behaviour.
“I call on Hope not hate and ITV to donate all money and profits generated from this TV series, both here and abroad, every single penny should go to the Jo Cox Foundation.
“We should not tolerate this kind of behaviour.”
Referring to earlier death threats, she added:
“How many more will come from this stupid, stupid, stupid series?”
Ms Cooper was speaking to MPs after Alicia Kearns – Conservative chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee – raised a point of order.
Ms Kearns asked the Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle for advice on how to ensure that “threats on the lives of our colleagues are not treated as entertainment”.
She said: “ITV has made a drama series about the heinous plan to murder the honourable lady for West Lancashire (Rosie Cooper), whose permission I have to make this point of order.
“What advice can you give to Members in this situation to ensure that the facts are fairly presented, that threats on the lives of our colleagues are not treated as entertainment … and that these series do not risk re-victimising those of us still living under significant threat from life?”
Sir Lindsay replied:
“The House will know that the safety of members, our families and our staff in this House is one of my highest priorities.
“Like all Members of this House, however, I would have thought that any depiction of threats made against parliamentarians is undertaken responsibly, based on the facts, and mindful of the impact of those subject to those such threats.”
The ITV drama was based on how Hnh infiltrated the banned far-right terror group National Action (NA).
Information gleaned about the plot to kill Ms Cooper and the activities of NA resulted in a trial at the Old Bailey.
Jack Renshaw, now 27, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, is currently serving a life sentence for preparing acts of terrorism.
The plot to kill Ms Cooper came just a year after the terrorist murder of Ms Cox.