Labour MP depicted in new Stephen Graham drama slams stupid series

Corrie's Jack James Ryan wants Stephen Graham to play his dad

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Rosie Cooper was the victim of a murder plot from a far-right extremist in 2017 which is currently depicted on the new ITV drama The Walk-In. Following the series’ launch, the Labour MP hit out at the network on Wednesday for the use of her story in the new crime drama.

The MP received death threats from Jack Henshaw, who was given a life sentence in 2018, for his planned attack on her.

Cooper used an opportunity to speak in Parliament to voice her anger at the decision to film the drama.

She described how she still receives threats which “piggyback on the original threat” and asked: “How many more will come from this stupid, stupid, stupid series?

“I’m appalled at ITV’s recent treatment of the threats to MPs.”

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She continued: “I’ve 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.

“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.”

The hard-hitting documentary tells the story of a reformed neo-Nazi called Matthew Collins (played by Stephen Graham).

He eventually decides to tip off the anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate about the plot to kill Cooper.

Following the MP’s stinging criticism, ITV released a statement in response to her claims.

They said: “ITV has a long record of broadcasting factual dramas based on or representing real events.

“The series has never been described in this way in any ITV press release. From Hillsborough, Bloody Sunday, Appropriate Adult, Little Boy Blue, A Confession to The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jeffries, ITV has a long record of broadcasting factual dramas based on or representing real events.

“Like these, The Walk-In is an important story which we believe is overwhelmingly in the public interest to broadcast.”

They added: “We always conduct the making of these series carefully and responsibly.”

The group that campaigns against racism issued a statement too.

A Hope Not Hate spokesperson said: “We sympathise with Rosie Cooper for everything she has been through in recent years. No-one should endure murder threats simply for doing their job.

“Clearly, we are disappointed to hear Rosie’s words in the chamber today.”

They added: “In 2017, several members of our organisation worked tirelessly and at tremendous sacrifice to themselves to foil the murder plot against Rosie Cooper.

“This ITV drama and documentary highlight the very real danger of far-right extremism – especially for those in public life.”

The Walk-In is available to stream on ITV and ITV Hub

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