UK
15/09/2015 16:08 BST | Updated 15/09/2015 17:59 BST

Kate Godfrey, Ex-Labour Candidate, Describes Stalking And Harassment From Party's 'Hard Left'

A woman who stood to be a Labour MP at May's general election has told of the harassment and stalking she suffered from a group of "hard left" members of the party.

Kate Godfrey said she became fearful she was afraid to walk to her car alone after receiving death threats and obscene phone calls and being followed to meetings.

She also received pornographic images with her face superimposed on them and people told her they were stocking "rat poison" for use on her.

Ms Godfrey, who previously worked with the UN, claimed the harassment stemmed from her moderate position within the party and reduced her to tears.

She tweeted:

She told The Times (£): “There was a strong vein of misogyny — the bullying quickly became sexualised. I’ve worked for the UN in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan as a single woman leading teams, I’m no softie but I got to the point where I felt really frightened.

"As the parliamentary candidate I couldn’t walk away from it, I couldn’t change my phone numbers, so I felt powerless.”

She claimed the harassment was done by members of the Labour Representation Committee, a left-wing pressure group within the Labour Party.

She claimed she complained to the chairman at the time, MP John McDonnell, who did not respond. Mr McDonnell has since been appointed Shadow Chancellor by new party leader Jeremy Corbyn. He has not publicly responded to her claims.

Ms Godfrey said she was, to her hard-left tormentors, “someone who was on the side of all that was wicked in the world".

"From that point on any tactic becomes justifiable," she told The Times. "I’m deeply troubled by the idea that ideology should be seen as more important than individuals.”

After Ms Godfrey's tweets and The Times article, historian Amanda Foreman tweeted to say she was "appalled" at the misogyny.

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Ms Godfrey said she had been "touched" by the response and praised the support she received from other party members.

Ms Godfrey was defeated by incumbent Conservative Jeremy Lefroy, who won 23,606 votes to her 14,429.