A Labour MP who quit Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet in June today revealed she felt “genuinely frightened” this summer after being threatened in the street.
Lisa Nandy, tipped by many as a future leader of the party, told HuffPost UK said the abuse reminded her of when she was targeted by the far-right when she was first elected to Parliament in 2010.
Speaking at a WaughZone live event at Labour’s conference in Liverpool, Nandy insisted the party needed to do much more than simply say “let’s not abuse people”.
The Wigan MP – whose Indian-born father was a race relations activist in the 1960s and 70s – insisted that “99% of people” in Labour are “thoroughly decent” but admitted “the summer’s been awful.”
It is understood that Nandy now carries a panic alarm after police were alerted to incidents of threats and abuse.
Nandy resigned from as Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary in June in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and was co-chair of Owen Smith’s leadership campaign.
Speaking this afternoon, she said: “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.
“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.
When asked whether she had received “abuse in person” from Labour members, Nandy replied: “The problem is when people come up to you in the street they are abusive or threatening you don’t know who they are and actually a lot of abuse about what I should or should not be doing with my life and my choices have been leveled at me from people in other political parties.”
She called on all members of Labour to work together to stamp out abuse.
“I do think we have a duty – all of us – to do much better than saying lets not abuse people. We have to proactively challenge where we see that sort of culture develop,” said Nandy.
The abuse aimed at Labour MPs has seen several beef up their personal security measures. Jess Phillips tweeted a picture in July of extra locks being put on her front door after a picture was mocked up of her dying.