Jeremy Corbyn must do more to tackle abuse of Labour MPs - Lucy Powell

Posted On: 
17th July 2017

A senior Labour MP has urged Jeremy Corbyn to do more to tackle Labour members abusing MPs.

Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in Bournemouth over the weekend
Credit: 
PA

Lucy Powell, who was shadow education secretary in the first nine months of Mr Corbyn’s leadership, said she had suffered “vile” attacks from members of her own party.

The Manchester Central MP said she had been subject to particularly virulent abuse in the wake of the bombing in her home city in May.

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While Mr Corbyn has repeatedly denounced intimidation of his colleagues, Ms Powell said he needed to take a firmer stance.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, she said: “This definitely comes from all sides and it needs to be rooted out wherever it comes from all sides. I would like to see more follow through and action from my own party leadership in that context as well.

“Jeremy has called it out and I've had conversations with him about it and I know that he finds it appalling and abhorrent and wants to call it out but I think you've got to follow that through as well. 

“You only have to look at what's happening to some of my colleagues, some of what I was subjected to as well particularly in the aftermath of the Manchester attacks. 

“I got some terrible emails from party members saying the Manchester attacks were my fault and I had blood on my hands and I was a vile individual.”

A spokesman for the Labour leader said he had consistently made clear his opposition to any attacks on colleagues.

"Jeremy has always condemned abuse and personal attacks and never engages in them. Freedom to hold those in power to account for the positions they hold or actions they take is a vital part of democracy. But it must never be a pretext for personal abuse, which is unacceptable and undermines democracy itself.

"The Conservative general election 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."

ELECTION CAMPAIGN

The issue of intimidation of MPs has hit the headlines recently, with Conservative MPs complaining that they were subject to harassment during the recent election campaign.

Parliament's standards watchdog has warned the scale of abuse has reached a "tipping point" that will put people off entering politics.

South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray recently told the House of Commons she had had swastikas carved into her posters and a rival activist urinate on her office door. 

Labour’s Yvette Cooper was among those to raise the “vitriolic abuse” aimed at female Tory MPs.

At a Westminster Hall debate last week Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott also detailed the shocking scale of racist and sexist abuse she has dealt with during her time in Parliament.