MPs To Reveal 'Barrage Of Abuse' They Receive For Doing Their Jobs

It comes after MPs revealed they had panic buttons in their homes.
Kriangkrai Thitimakorn via Getty Images

MPs are set to tell the government about the “barrage of abuse” and threats they receive in a bid to improve the safety of politicians.

Parliament’s human rights committee will interview MPs on all sides of the Commons about the scale and nature of the threats they receive, how abuse affects their families and how authorities respond.

A report from the committee – which will also include evidence from police, the crown prosecution service and social media companies – will then be passed to the government and Commons authorities.

The news comes just days after Labour MP Angela Rayner and Tory Brexiteer Nadine Dorries both revealed they had had panic buttons installed in their homes after receiving threats on social media.

Labour MP Harriet Harman – who chairs the committee – said: “No MP should face a barrage of abuse for doing the job they were elected to do. It’s in no-one’s interest if, to stay safe, MPs retreat from and become more remote from our constituents.

“MPs should not, as they have to in many countries, live behind bars.”

The inquiry comes less than three years after Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death by local man Thomas Mair while on the way to a routine surgery in her constituency.

MPs do not want to be seen as victims, Harman said. But “there’s a steady and worrying trend of MPs changing the way they work, and even what they say and how they vote”.

Harman added: “We’ve got to start facing up to the rising tide of harassment and violence against MPs. And stop it.

“What is at stake here is our democracy.”


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