After MP Jess Phillips (Birmingham Yardley, Labour) was sent death and rape threats online, Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart joined her and other Labour women MPs to stand up against online abuse.
Fiona said, “I know how terrifying this kind of violent threat can be. When I was a student a university newspaper published my photograph with the caption “would you rape this woman?” The internet and Twitter has given more people a platform from which to launch such threats and too often they target women. These platforms enable people to speak directly to politicians and others in power. But a dark side has emerged, when it is used to abuse people who have done no-one harm but have the temerity to express an opinion. Jess said that she didn’t think parliament needed to debate discrimination against men until the discrimination against women was tackled.”
“I am happy to engage in constructive debates on issues but abuse isn’t a part of the job and nobody in public life should ever expect abhorrent death and rape threats from people who don’t like things they have said.
“Anyone being abused online should contact the police.”