Theresa May calls on Jeremy Corbyn to condemn online abuse of MPs

Posted On: 
10th July 2017

Theresa May has called on Jeremy Corbyn to condemn the online abuse of MPs and election candidates by trolls on social media.

Online abuse of candidates became a major issue during the election.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister said she was "surprised at any party leader" who failed to speak out on the problem, which became a major issue during the general election.

Tory MP Sheryll Murray told the Commons two weeks ago about how some of her opponents had carved swastikas into her posters, and written “burn the witch” and “stab the c*nt” on social media during the campaign.

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And in a speech at the weekend, former Labour frontbencher Yvette Cooper said the campaign had seen "Tory women MPs and candidates targeted with some vile abuse from the left".

Theresa May used last week's Cabinet meeting to promise a crackdown on the problem - and called on other party leaders to join her.

Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street today, Mrs May again hit out at the "abuse, bullying and harrassment" endured by candidates during the election.

She said: "A number of MPs have clearly identified that that happened to them. Yvette Cooper has been clear that this is something we need to address and I think we should be working together to find a way to make sure that ... the message goes out very clearly that that has no role in our democracy."

Asked specifically if Jeremy Corbyn should speak out on the issue, the Prime Minister said: "I call on all party leaders to condemn that. There is no place for that activity in our democracy and I'm surprised at any party leader who is not willing to condemn that.

"I think, frankly, we should stand together on this and say there is no place for this in our democracy. People should be able to stand for election, we should be able to conduct elections, without people fearing about what is going to happen to them as a result of that."

A spokeswoman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy has always condemned abuse and personal attacks and never engages in them.

"The Conservative campaign was negative, nasty and full of smears and untruths. Labour fought a positive, hopeful campaign based on policies to transform Britain for the many, not the few."