NEWS
04/08/2020 13:41 BST

Met Police Investigating Racist Threat Made Against David Lammy

The Labour MP said Twitter must get “much faster at stamping out racist threats and abuse” after it took more than 13 hours to act.

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
David Lammy has called on Twitter to be “much faster at stamping out racist threats and abuse” after receiving a threat on the social media platform. 

David Lammy has called on Twitter to be “much faster at stamping out racist threats and abuse” after receiving a threat on the social media platform.

The shadow justice secretary, who is Black, posted a screenshot of a message he received in which a Twitter user said he would “hang from a lamppost” if he “wasn’t careful”.

In response to the abusive tweet, Lammy replied: “Vile racists like you will not silence me.

“But social media must not be a platform for threats and abuse.”

On Sunday he reported the threat to the Metropolitan Police, who have confirmed they are investigating an “allegation of malicious communication”.

The following day the Labour MP called on Twitter to act quickly, addressing its CEO, Jack Dorsey, directly.

But the social media platform did not act until Monday when it suspended the user’s account, prompting home secretary Priti Patel to call for “decisive action” against abuse on the site.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also condemned the abuse, saying: “Social media platforms must be quicker at taking action against hate.

“Racism has no place online or anywhere in our society.”

The politicians’ comments prompted comparisons with their perceived lack of action over online abuse directed at Black Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Dawn Butler

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “Police received an allegation of malicious communication on August 2, 2020. The allegation relates to a tweet directed at an MP. The Met Police is investigating.”

No one has been arrested over the message.

A spokesperson for Twitter said: “We have policies in place that address abuse and harassment, violent threats, and hateful conduct.

“If we identify accounts that violate any of these rules, we’ll take enforcement action.”