24/03/2017 13:31 GMT

Philip Davies: Joining Twitter Was One Of The Worst Thing I've Ever Done In My Life

A Tory MP has revealed that joining Twitter was “one of the worst things I did in my life”.

Philip Davies complained in a Parliamentary debate on Friday that he had “16,000 followers - all of whom hate me”. 

He added that people who avoided social media were “the sensible ones”.

Speaking in his usual slot at the end of the week in Westminster, as hopeful backbench MPs pitch bills to be considered by the House, Davies said: “I’m not entirely sure of the numbers of people that aren’t on Twitter or Facebook - they’re the sensible ones, it seems to me.

PA Wire/PA Images
Philip Davies observed 'sensible' people stayed off social media

“I’m not on Facebook but I am on Twitter and I’d probably regard it as one of the worst things I did in my life. I have about 16,000 followers all of whom hate me.

“And it’s all very interesting what they have to say I’m sure. But it seems to me rather pointless.

“They can hurl as much abuse as they like but I’m not entirely sure it gets us anywhere.”

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
File photo: Twitter has been dogged with criticism for failing to stem the high levels of abuse

The comment came during a debate on the ‘Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill’, with Davies complaining that a proposed amendment would shift the definition of a “journalist” to include ordinary social media users. 

The Shipley MP came under a torrent of criticism on social media last month, when he was accused by Labour’s Anna Turley of “shaming our democracy” for talking for so long that her bill on toughening animal cruelty crime sentences failed to be debated in time.

Davies told The Huffington Post UK afterwards that Turley’s bill had “no chance of being debated” given it was eighth on the order paper.

He made a point of order the following week, saying “briefing” against him on social media had led to “my office receiving widespread, unjustified and terrible abuse, to which my staff should not be subjected”.

Twitter has long been blighted by complaints of foul-mouthed, hateful messages, with users feeling powerless to avoid them.

Several high-profile personalities have famously ‘quit’ Twitter following the abuse they recieved on it, including Stephen Fry, Owen Jones and Matt Lucas.