POLITICS
19/05/2018 19:11 BST | Updated 20/05/2018 08:49 BST

Politicians Who Oppose Monarchy Get 'Onslaught' Of Abuse And Death Threats, Says Labour MP

Outspoken republican Emma Dent Coad has installed CCTV at her home and office.

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Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington, has received death threats for criticising the monarchy and has installed CCTV at her home. 

Politicians who support abolishing the monarchy have revealed abuse and death threats they received for speaking out on the day of the royal wedding, two MPs have said. 

Labour’s Emma Dent Coad and the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard are calling for a debate on whether the monarch should remain as the unelected head of state. 

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot on Saturday, the two politicians were at a republican event in London arguing the Windsors should not get taxpayers’ cash and the Queen should be replaced by an elected UK president. 

But they said their anti-Royal Family views make them a target for “vitriolic” anger and threats.  

Kensington’s Dent Coad, who has declared herself “the Royal Family’s worst nightmare” at last year’s Labour Party conference, blamed the media for whipping up vitriol against republicans and skewing the debate. 

The MP, who wrote in the Guardian this week, called for republicans to “get off their knees” and fight for change. 

But she also disclosed to a meeting of the Alliance of European Republican Movements that she had installed CCTV in her home since her views on the monarchy made the front page of The Sun last year.

She said: “It opened the gates of hell for me. I was subjected to a media onslaught and received hundreds of deaths threats by social media and numerous emails and letters. 

“I now have installed CCTV on my home and constituency office and a GPS tracker so I can contact police directly if I am under attack.” 

She and Sheppard are arguing that the monarchist status quo in the UK reinforces privilege and is undemocratic.  

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SNP MP Tommy Sheppard supports abolishing the monarchy 

Dent Coad said, however, that she perceived a “wind of change” in public opinion. 

“If British values of democracy, liberty, free speech and respect for differing beliefs mean anything at all we should be free to have a public debate on the future of the monarchy without receiving death threats,” she said. 

She added: “I’m calling on silent republicans everywhere to get off your knees, be bold and speak out publicly.” 

Sheppard, meanwhile, said the event had “touched a nerve with some of our royalist friends” but that he had not received abuse on the scale of Dent Coad.

However, he added: “I have seen an uncharacteristic outbreak of vitriol over the last 24 hours about the fact I was coming here to speak today.” 

The Edinburgh East MP said that he wished the royal couple well, but said the republican debate was not about personalities or celebrity. 

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ride in the Ascot Landau open carriage during the procession following their marriage at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018

He also demanded that the BBC, as a public service broadcaster, give more coverage to the republican debate. 

“When their honeymoon is finished, we still have to come back to the question about whether it is right and proper in the 21st Century in a country like this, with democratic values, that the head of state is not only unelected but should be the preserve forever of just one family in the land,” he said.  

Speakers at the event in Blackfriars argued that support for the Royal Family is waning. 

A poll, commissioned by anti-monarchist pressure group Republic, found that 66% of Britons were not interested in the royal wedding, and that 60% of Britons planned to have a normal weekend.

Sheppard added: “Britain is a country which has many great achievements and values we can be proud but one of the things that we cannot be proud of is the class system and the inequality which is the result of it. 

“It seems to me that the monarchy as an institution sits at the apex of a system of power, patronage and privilege in this country.”