Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones today revealed the vicious threats made against her as she told of her shock at the death of MP Jo Cox.
Cllr Jones urged the Government to consider tougher action to stop ‘keyboard warriors’ saying that internet abuse could rise to horrifying levels.
She said that she had gone to police about attacks on her including threats to cut her throat.
‘Whilst social media is amazing in that you can get information out really quickly, it also makes people who are elected susceptible to targeting and I think in this circumstance it’s gone on to the horrific level that it did yesterday.’
She said women in public positions were particularly vulnerable to attack.
‘It’s not very pleasant. You have to put it into a box mentally and file it away and try to deal with it that way’ she told the BBC.
‘In my case I had to take it to the police and I have had advice from them on personal security and safety.
‘I’ve had dog excrement sent through the post, I’ve had hate mail, I’ve had threats to cut my throat, I’ve had all sorts of things.
‘I’ve had photographs of my car and my ten-year-old son on social media. It’s not very nice.
‘It’s something that you do have to take into consideration now if you are putting yourself up for an elected position and I think that’s very sad.
‘We need the highest calibre of people representing us in the UK and we don’t want anything to put them off and that’s why I think the Government has to give this consideration.
‘People will say things to me on social media that they wouldn’t dream of coming up and saying to me to my face. Do I think that that guy would have come up and said to me “I’m going to cut your throat” if he’d seen me in the street? ‘No, I don’t think he would because if he did that he would have expected to have been arrested because it’s a threat to kill or a threat of serious harm.’