Ban anonymous social media accounts, says senior Labour MP

Angela Rayner said most people who sent her abuse online do not use their real names

Peter Stubley
Monday 24 September 2018 01:04
Comments
Labour plan to trigger early election if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is defeated in parliament

Labour's shadow education secretary has called for a ban on anonymous social media accounts after receiving abuse online.

Angela Rayner said firms such as Facebook and Twitter had a responsibility to try to reduce the problem of internet bullying and threats.

“One of the first things they should do is stop anonymous accounts,” she said at a fringe event at the party conference on Sunday.

“Most people who send me abuse do so from anonymous accounts, and would not dream of doing it in their own name

She admitted that forcing users to post under their true identity would not stop online abuse but added: "It would certainly help a little bit."

"I think they should do more – they do have a responsibility for online," she told The Guardian.

Ms Rayner also claimed Facebook had told her fellow MP Stephen Doughty that "they had a higher bar for politicians" when he complained about the abuse and threats he had received.

“It is almost as if politicians should accept a certain amount of bullying and abuse online," she said.

The 38 year-old MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, who has been touted as a future party leader, also told how she had received letters complaining about her strong northern accent.

“I try my best to stay true to who I am,” Ms Rayner said. “I don’t pronounce all of my words how they do on the BBC at times and that is OK, because I sound like the people I grew up with.”

Asked if she viewed herself as leadership material, Ms Rayner replied: "I think anybody can achieve if given the opportunity.”

Ms Rayner has also been mentioned as a candidate for a possible new post of co-deputy leader alongside Tom Watson.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said his colleague was a "very good contender", adding: "Angela Rayner is great, she's a good friend of mine, a working-class woman, a trade unionist and former care worker."

Ms Rayner made headlines earlier this year after describing Labour's plans to increase public spending as a "shit or bust strategy".

Additional reporting by Press Association

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in