Countdown’s Rachel Riley to get extra security on show after online abuse
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Countdown’s Rachel Riley to get extra security on show after online abuse

Television presenter will get added protection in the wake of antisemitic comments made to her online

Countdown star Rachel Riley. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire
Countdown star Rachel Riley. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Countdown star Rachel Riley has said she is to be given extra security on the programme after receiving abuse online over her comments about antisemitism.

The TV star and maths expert said she has been targeted by Labour supporters on Twitter for her criticisms of the party and leader Jeremy Corbyn amid the ongoing row.

Riley, who is Jewish, has already spoken about being trolled online, but said the problem has worsened and includes physical threats.

She told the Times newspaper: “The more I speak, the more abuse I get, and the more abuse I get, the more I speak.

“It’s got to the point where I can’t look at my Twitter feed any more … it’s just a constant stream.”

She added: “We are getting more security for Countdown.”

A spokesman for Countdown told the Press Association: “It’s not unusual to have security in a studio environment. There will be extra vigilance and increased presence.”

Riley, who has appeared on the Channel 4 daytime programme since 2009, said she believes she is a “target” for speaking up against antisemitism, and that she does not “take it lightly”.

She said: “With the hashtag Get The Tories Out or the red rose or hashtag JC4PM, they say to me ‘You’re only calling out the left’.

“Well, I’ve been attacked by people on the left and the best way to not have me talk about antisemitism on the left is not to be antisemitic.”

Riley has previously stated that she has no political allegiance, and is not a Conservative, although she claims she has been labelled a Tory by supporters of Mr Corbyn.

However, she told the newspaper that she would not vote for Labour now, as she believes the party is “actively encouraging the abuse of people who are standing up to this”.

Earlier this week, Riley recalled the “hideous” feeling of receiving hate-filled abuse for speaking out about antisemitism at the Holocaust Memorial Day reception at the House of Commons.

Mr Corbyn has strongly denied allegations of antisemitism during the controversy that has ripped through his party.

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