UK Parliament : MPs to reveal election abuse against candidates

The shocking extent of abuse suffered by candidates in last month’s general election is to be exposed in an unprecedented Commons debate.

In an hour-long debate, MPs will hear first-hand accounts of anti-Semitic attacks, racist abuse, intimidation, smears, slashed tyres and even death threats.

Many of the incidents are contained in a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, which is demanding new laws and tougher discipline by parties.
Diane Abbott MP told Sky’s Sophy Ridge about the abuse she has received online
Video: Diane Abbott MP: I’ve been called a b**** and a n*****’

Examples of abuse during the general election campaign in the group’s report include:

:: A Conservative candidate, Ameet Jogia, was subjected to racial abuse at a polling station
:: Conservative MP Sheryll Murray’s election posters were daubed with swastikas
:: Former Tory minister Andrew Percy was said to have been called “Zionist scum”
:: Former Labour MP Iain Wright claimed he was assaulted and his family threatened with violence while he was delivering leaflets
:: Labour MP Naz Shah, previously suspended for her own anti-Semitic posts, was herself a victim of anti-Semitism at hustings.

The Commons debate, thought to be the first of its kind, is being staged by Conservative MP Simon Hart, who is expected to accuse Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left Momentum supporters of intimidation.

:: Sky Views – Vicious abuse of MPs must stop

But coinciding with the debate, Labour MPs have written to Tory chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin accusing the Tories of “vitriolic personal attacks” on Labour candidates, particularly women.
Naz Shah has been receiving death threats
Video: Naz Shah: MPs receive abuse on a daily basis

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The letter, from party chairman Ian Lavery and shadow minister Cat Smith, says: “The Conservatives ran a negative, nasty campaign, propagating personal attacks, smears and untruths, particularly aimed at one of the most prominent women MPs, and indeed the first black woman MP, Diane Abbott.

“Such attacks on politicians, the consequent intimidating and abusive language and threats of violence towards them online, deter many people from entering politics.

“Parties and politicians have a responsibility to set an example, by treating others with dignity and respect, including those with whom we strongly disagree.

“The Conservative Party has instead promoted personal attacks as a core component of its national campaign.”
Video: MPs hit out at ‘shameful’ social media sites

But Mr Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South, is demanding tougher action by the Labour leader to stamp out bullying by his activists.

“Rather than just putting out feeble messages online saying you condemn all this, Jeremy Corbyn needs to actually do something about it,” Mr Hart told the Daily Mail.

“Mr Corbyn and the leaders of Momentum need, when there is even the faintest whiff of this stuff, to say: ‘You are not welcome in our party or to campaign on our behalf and wear the Labour badge if this is how you’re going to behave’.”

The Commons debate comes after the Prime Minister promised a review of the law after saying she had been shocked at the number of colleagues who had talked to her about intimidation and harassment during the campaign.

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