Brave Ms Riley, 33, has suffered a deluge of hate messages and a string of personal insults on Twitter. One sickening Tweet seen by the Sunday Express even mentions rape. The stream of threats has become so worrying extra security has now been called in at Channel 4’s Countdown studio. Ms Riley, who says she is a non-religious Jew, became a social media target after she joined a debate on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to alleged anti-Semitism in his party.
One said: “You’ve turned into a bit of a nutter. Swearing and ranting about stuff you clearly don’t understand.”
Another stated: “You have completely lost your mind. You seem hell-bent on self-destruction.”
Her aggressors have demanded she be sacked by Channel 4 from Countdown, which she has cohosted for 10 years, while others have threatened legal action against her for “bullying”.
The abuse intensified in the wake of her addressing a Holocaust Education Trust meeting at Westminster last week, when she detailed the litany of personal insults she has had to endure.
But her calls for greater awareness about the Holocaust were met with renewed insults from her aggressors with one, using the title LabourFanTV, posting: “Rachel Riley is an anti-Semite and a dunce. It’s quite embarrassing she is getting any platform, let alone this one.”
Ms Riley, who has clashed with her critics on social media about anti-Semitism before, described the postings as “hideous” but has vowed to continue tackling anti-Jewish sentiment in Britain.
The news comes on today’s Holocaust Memorial Day, a commemoration dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in the Holocaust.
Ms Riley said: “By speaking up against anti-Semitism, you are a target. I don’t take it lightly.
“We are getting more security. They picked on the wrong woman – whatever they throw at me, I’ll throw right back.”
She claimed that Mr Corbyn’s approach to anti-Semitism is forcing Jews out of the party and its supporters made up the largest share of her online bullies.
The social media trolling blitz comes as a survey revealed five per cent of UK adults do not believe the Holocaust happened, while 64 per cent do not know how many Jews were murdered or grossly under-estimate numbers.
The study, commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, recorded 76 per cent of those polled believe more needs to be done to educate people about the Nazi exterminations that killed more than six million.
A spokeswoman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the representative organisation of the UK Jewish community, said: “Rachel Riley has become a strong and fearless campaigner. We applaud her brave stance and told her so when we met her.”
Ms Riley also received messages of support online. One poster, Peter Copp, said: “The abuse Rachel is receiving is insane. Who would think a young Jewish woman would be a target of online hatred?” Home Secretary Sajid Javid also tweeted: “Thank you Rachel Riley for such a moving, powerful speech and all that you do to fight hate.”
Lydia Parker, from Amnesty International UK, was critical of Twitter. She said: “Our view that it is a toxic place for women still stands because not enough is being done to stop the abuse.”
Labour was in meltdown last night after another senior member of Jeremy Corbyn’s front-bench team was dragged into the anti-Semitism row.
Enfield North MP Joan Ryan, who chairs Labour Friends of Israel, has condemned shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry for comparing Israel to war-torn Syria.
Ms Ryan blasted Thornberry for a “complete misreading of the facts” in calling for sanctions against Israel.