A MAN has admitted sending hoax white powder - in some cases in packages marked "Anthrax" - to female MPs including Nicola Blackwood.

The former Oxford West and Abingdon MP was among women sent the packages between 2011 and 2014.

Richard Hayes, 40, of no fixed address, was arrested in Barnstaple, Devon, on July 18 by counter-terrorism officers.

He appeared at Exeter Crown Court via video-link on Thursday and admitted 16 charges of making a noxious substance hoax, contrary to Section 114 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

The charges state that he did so "intending to induce in a person anywhere in the world a belief that it was likely to be or to contain a noxious substance ... thereby endangering human life or to create serious risk to human health".

Police said the packages were found to contain various non-hazardous substances including flour, protein powder and bicarbonate of soda.