Police ask blogger to remove legitimate anti-Ukip tweet
Two police officers turned up at the home of a blogger to interview him about a series of tweets that highlighted Ukip’s controversial policies on the NHS, tax and immigration.
Concerns have been raised about freedom of speech after Michael Abberton, a Green Party member, was visited at his home by two Cambridgeshire Police officers on Saturday, having sent a series of tweets in which he claimed to be verifying the truth behind Ukip election claims.
Mr Abberton had posted a “mocked up” Ukip election poster claiming amongst other things that the party would scrap paid maternity leave, cut education spending to buy three new aircraft carriers and make it legal for a man to rape or assault his wife.
All the supposed “pledges” were sourced to public statements by the party, the voting record of MEPs or by comments from senior Ukip figures. But the poster drew the ire of a Ukip councillor who complained to the police. The matter might have ended there but instead two officers were sent to interview Mr Abberton at his home.
The police’s decision to question the blogger has led to calls for Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to investigate the matter and Julian Hibbert, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, described it as “astonishing”. He is waiting for a detailed response from the police.
Writing on his blog, Mr Abberton described the incident – and claimed the officers told him that he should not publicise the visit. “They said [the visit] was in relation to a complaint that had been made by a certain political party in relation to tweets I had published about them and one tweet in particular which talked about 10 reasons to vote for them,” he said.
“The PC wanted to know if I had made that poster. They asked me to ‘take it down’ but I said I couldn’t do that as it had already been retweeted and copied many times and I no longer had any control of it. They said that they couldn’t force me to take it down anyway.”
The officers told him that he couldn’t tweet about their visit as it might undermine their appearance of impartiality ahead of the upcoming elections.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman confirmed the visit but said officers had not told Mr Abberton to delete tweets.
But the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said the police action was “both disturbing and surprising... That an apparently general complaint from a political party about not liking what was said about them could have led to a police visit... is an extremely serious incident.”
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are working with this secondary s...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...