Labour leadership contest abuse ‘reminded me of far right’, MP Lisa Nandy says

The former shadow cabinet minister said the summer had been ‘awful’

Ms Nandy stepped down from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet after the EU referendum
Ms Nandy stepped down from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet after the EU referendum

Abuse during the Labour leadership contest reminded an MP of when she was targeted by the far right, she has said.

Lisa Nandy, the MP for Wigan whose father was an Indian-born race relations activist, said the summer had been “awful” because of persistent attacks on her both in person and on social media.

She said that while the vast majority of Labour supporters were “thoroughly decent” some of the things people had said to her had genuinely scared her.

“The online abuse is one thing and the abuse in person is another. There have been moments this summer where I have felt genuinely frightened,” she said at a fringe event at a Labour conference organised by the Huffington Post UK.

“I’ve only felt that once in politics and that was when I was first elected and I was targeted by the far right.

“I felt it again this summer and that is a huge thing for a political party that stands for decency, kindness and respect.

“We will never convince the public that we will create that sort of society if we don’t live those sort of values ourselves.”

Ms Nandy initially served in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet at the start of his leadership but stepped down after the EU referendum alongside dozens of other MPs disillusioned with his leadership.

A figure from the soft left of the party, Ms Nandy was tipped as a potential Labour leadership candidate who could unite the party. She however did not stand despite some activists urging her to do so, citing her young family as the main reason.

Instead the former shadow energy secretary co-chaired Owen Smith’s leadership campaign.

Both sides in the Labour civil war have said they have been subjected to abuse, particularly on social media.

Angela Eagle, who initially stood against Mr Corbyn, says she had her constituency office window broken – the perpetrator of the vandalism is unclear.

Mr Corbyn has said he has been on the receiving end of death threats, while MP Jess Phillips has reportedly beefed up security at her home after similar threats.

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