Majority of female MPs suffer abuse from public, survey reveals

Posted On: 
25th January 2017

A large majority of female MPs have suffered online and verbal abuse such as death threats from members of the public, a new survey has revealed.

Female MPs also complained about the sexism in Westminster
Credit: 
PA Images

An anonymous poll by BBC Radio 5Live reveals a third have considered quitting their jobs as a result, while two thirds feel “less safe” after the murder of former Labour MP Jo Cox.

One MP wrote: "The level of violence and abuse has significantly increased in the last years. At times I have been very frightened."

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Another said: "Had to phone the police once, [after] a constituent threatened to kill me."

One said she had received “absolutely zero” support from parliament or her party after the murder of Mrs Cox last summer.

And another said: "I asked my kids' view on whether I should stop after Jo's death, but their support was all I needed. Standing up to bullies is the only answer."

More than a third of the UK’s 195 female MPs responded, with almost half saying they wanted “unprofessional or sexist” language at Westminster tackled.

Almost two thirds said they had received sexist comments from workers or other MPs, while one said she had been told she should be "in the kitchen washing the dishes".

One MP said she had experienced sexual assault and two others said they had been groped.

Meanwhile, more than half of respondents said they were in favour of all-female shortlists for Westminster MPs.