Tory MPs reveal 'genuine fear' after election campaign as Theresa May launches investigation into abuse

Both Labour and Conservatives were targeted with verbal abuse, graffiti and death threats

 

Kenza Bryan
Sunday 09 July 2017 12:20
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Nigel Evans says he was called a terrorist and a child murderer
Nigel Evans says he was called a terrorist and a child murderer

MPs have said they are living in “genuine fear” after they received death threats and abuse during the general election campaign.

Theresa May has ordered a No 10 policy unit review into the issue, inviting MPs to share details of their experiences as “evidence gathering”.

Cabinet held a discussion earlier this week about intimidating electoral practises after the issue was raised by Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons.

Former Conservative MP Byron Davies, 64, received two death threats online a few weeks before the election, in which he lost his Gower seat.

He was threatened with being “strung up” if he showed his face again in a particular area, he told The Sunday Telegraph.

A female candidate in her 30s, who was running for a safe Labour seat, said attacks on social media left her feeling “genuine fear”.

“It has made me think whether I really want to be an MP,” she said.

Tory MP Nigel Evans described a “new low in campaigning” after he was screamed at by a man in the New Inn pub in Clitheroe on St George’s day.

“You are a terrorist, child murderer, go back to Swansea, you are not welcome here,” he was told.

Earlier this week, Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP for Totnes in Devon, told The Guardian she felt she was being “forced out of town” by abusive words on her office building.

But she insisted Labour MPs had suffered worse abuse.

Twitter trolls have been convicted for death threats to Angela Eagle, Stella Creasy and Luciana Berger.

Nimco Ali, a candidate for the Women’s Equality party, was sent a letter threatening her life and signed “Jo Cox”.

The first Conservative MP to speak out was 61-year-old widow Sheryll Murray, who talked at PMQs two weeks ago about receiving death threats and having her door urinated on.

“Hardly kinder, gentler politics,” she said of the behaviour.

Ms May said she was “determined to stamp it out” and highlighted the disproportionate number of attacks on female MPs.

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