Dewsbury MP reveals extent of online abuse

Dewsbury MP reveals extent of online abuse

DEWSBURY MP Paula Sherriff says she has been heartened by the support she has received after being subjected to repeated threats and abuse online.

The Labour MP was sent shocking messages telling her that she ‘deserves to be hanged’ and calling for her to be sexually assaulted after she spoke out against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s use of “dangerous” language in Parliament.

Since the extent of the hate mail was shared on Twitter by journalist Victoria Derbyshire, Miss Sherriff has seen an outpouring of support from other MPs, members of the public and community organisations.

She said: “After speaking out in the House of Commons I’ve been heartened to receive some messages of support, but also left saddened by the influx of abusive messages that followed … 

“When I see and hear the Prime Minister’s words being parroted in abusive emails and phone calls received in my office, it only underscores the impact of his language. 

“MPs inevitably draw criticism for their views, particularly on issues that people feel passionately about – that’s a part of the role and I’ve built up a resilience on this, you have to.

“But everyone deserves to be able to go about their jobs without fear of threats and abuse and I sincerely hope, once again, that the Prime Minister will re-consider his language so that we can move beyond this and shift the focus onto robust debates about what is best for our country.”

Miss Sherriff’s neighbouring constituency MP Tracy Brabin (Lab, Batley & Spen) said: “I have taken the decision not to publish people who give me abuse. 

“But I must say for each abusive message I get, I receive two lovely messages.

“I believe the people of Batley & Spen are genuinely good people and it is just a few who let us down.

“I really feel for Paula and I stand in solidarity with her. I hope moving forward people can dial down the rhetoric and moderate their language.”

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