Portsmouth Labour politician hits out after facing 'personal attacks' from election 'bullies'

‘BULLIES’ launched ‘personal attacks’ on a Labour politician in what has been branded one of the ‘most hostile elections’ in a generation.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:58 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 9:22 pm
Amanda Martin, Labour MP hopeful. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Amanda Martin, who was running to become Portsmouth North MP, blasted those who abused her online.

The veteran city teacher insisted more needed to be done to tackle the hostility faced by politicians.

Speaking to The News inside Portsmouth Guildhall, Ms Martin said: ‘I have experienced hostility and personal attacks.

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‘If you can’t attack someone on their manifesto or policies and professionalism then you go personal.’

Ms Martin is a graduate of the Jo Cox Women in Leadership course – a programme set up to honour the murdered MP to fight off abuse.

Speaking of the course, she added: ‘They taught us to call out any aggravation that we get online and I have done that over this election because as a teacher you need to stand up to bullies whether they’re online or personally in front of you.’

Ms Martin’s comments came after the National Police Chiefs’ Council said they had been contacted directly by some 70 per cent of candidates to ‘discuss their security’ and have held 190 security briefings between November 15 and December 4.

In the same period, police received nearly 200 reports related to candidate security. Most of the incidents reported are allegations of malicious communications online, but also include low level criminal damage and harassment.

Just under half of all reported cases were serious enough to be treated as crimes. One third of reports are from candidate volunteers and staff.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: ‘As with every election, police work to prevent and detect crime and enable the democratic process to proceed unhindered.

‘We take this role extremely seriously. Chiefs across the UK have all implemented election plans and will continue to monitor incidents and trends throughout the remainder of the election period.’