Labour MP brings 'minder' to conference after online abuse

Posted On: 
21st September 2016

A Labour MP critical of Jeremy Corbyn has asked one of her members of staff to accompany her around conference because she fears for her safety.

Stoke-on-Trent North MP Ruth Smeeth
PA Images

Ruth Smeeth has been taking advice from the police about security after receiving death threats online.

She said previously she had received 25,000 abusive messages, many of them anti-Semitic attacks.

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The Stoke-on-Trent MP told The Sun she would not be alone when attending the annual get-together in Liverpool.

“I will have someone with me,” she said.

“I haven’t felt the need to do this before, but it is a sensible security precaution for obvious reasons at the moment.

“But I’ve been to conference every year since 1999, and I’m not going to stop going now.”

Another unnamed female Labour MP added to the newspaper: “Nobody is looking forward to going to Liverpool, it’s going to be totally horrendous.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if someone got hurt. I have never known the atmosphere to be this ugly.”

Ms Smeeth has been targeted after walking out of a Labour event on anti-Semitism when a member of the audience accused her of colluding with the media.

She subsequently accused Mr Corbyn of a “catastrophic failure of leadership” for failing to contact her afterwards or to intervene when the comments were being made.

Labour’s National Executive Committee yesterday introduced a new code of conduct and agreed to make members sign a declaration opposing online abuse.

Ms Smeeth described the move as a “great step forward”.