Hillary Clinton warns that abuse of female MPs is putting UK on 'path to fascism'
Britain is on a "path to fascism" if female MPs feel they have to step down to avoid attacks from "hatemongers", Hillary Clinton has warned.
The former US presidential hopeful said she took "very seriously" the fact that several high-profile women have decided not to run again in the December election.
More than 70 MPs have so far announced that they will not be running again, with Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan specifically citing the abuse she had received for doing her job.
Meanwhile outgoing MP Heidi Allen told constituents she was "exhausted by the invasion into my privacy and the nastiness and intimidation that has become commonplace" in politics.
Other high-profile women to quit Parliament ahead of the election include Amber Rudd, Claire Perry, Margot James and Dame Caroline Spelman.
Speaking at an event at King's College London, Ms Clinton said: "When I heard about all these people, particularly the women, who weren’t going to run again, and they attributed it to the threats they are going to face, that is not only a threat to individuals, that is a threat to democracies."
And she added: "If people are intimidated out of running for office in a democracy because of these hatemongers on the left or the right … that is the path [to] authoritarianism, that is the path [to] fascism."
The latest intervention from Ms Clinton comes after she tore into Boris Johnson over an as-yet unpublished Intelligence and Security Committee report on Russian attempts to influence British democracy.
The former US Secretary of State branded the decision not to publish the report before the election "inexplicable".
Ms Clinton meanwhile told the London audience on Tuesday night that Brexit was a "symptom" of "the very real problems and disagreements that our democracies have".
She warned: "Your country is about as divided as our country is, trying to figure out what to do with the results of a referendum that didn’t provide as much guidance as needed to make the decision that the voters apparently voted for.
"At some point I hope that the UK can get back to really showing the kind of creativity and envisioning a future that is going to be good for all the people here and have positive effects all around the world."