Hampshire MPs say they receive abuse and death threats - with one abandoning Twitter because it is a 'sewer'
MPs in the area say they are subjected to abuse and even death threats – with one saying she has closed her Twitter account as the social media platform is so poisonous.
The MPs were speaking after the death of veteran Essex MP David Amess, who was stabbed while holding a public surgery.
Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond said: ‘Earlier this year I came off Twitter because of the toxic and abusive atmosphere on the platform.
‘There seemed little point using it when most of what I read was nothing about the day’s political debate or anything informative, just hurtful personal attacks.
‘For women this is a real problem as it is often about their appearance or even threats of sexual violence. It shouldn’t be like this and if nothing is done women will be reluctant to enter public life.
‘The Government is putting forward an Online Safety Bill I hope will have robust measures in it to tackle the sewer that is social media.
‘I think the country is getting increasingly fed up with online hate and its pernicious effect on children, public discourse and mental health.’
Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said: ‘The level of abuse MPs receive on a daily-basis is completely unacceptable and no one should be intimidated out of doing the job they were elected to do.
‘I pride myself on being an MP who is open and accessible to all constituents, be that at my shop-front constituency office, regular advice centres or monthly Pint with your MP sessions across Portsmouth. Many of our country’s members of parliament cherish the fundamental local connection they have with their constituents, as do I, and this must be protected at every opportunity.
‘Thankfully the vast majority of correspondence I have from constituents is constructive and respectful. On rare occasions I do receive abusive emails or social media comments, which are not tolerated. This is always dealt with quickly and proportionately.
‘It’s clear things must now change, including better regulation of social media, something I continue to campaign for.’
Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘Like many MPs, I do receive abusive correspondence and sadly even a death threat. I don’t let this distract me from my work as an active local MP in our community. I’m grateful to local residents who have sent me messages of support since the tragic events last Friday. I take appropriate security measures, but the murders of Jo Cox and Sir David Amess remind us all of the need to be constantly vigilant.’