MPs Targeted More Than 50 Times Since Jo Cox Murder

MPs Targeted More Than 50 Times Since Jo Cox Murder

Now a specialist police squad set up after Cox's death to handle crimes against MPs has revealed that it has dealt with more than 50 complaints in its first six months.

Recent police reports indicate there has been considerable abuse and 50 recorded threats against MPs as well as 13 reports of criminal damage and theft.

The figures were obtained by the Press Association under freedom of information laws. MPs claim that they face unacceptable levels of abuse online.

Cox was murdered in June 2016 after being shot and stabbed by fascist Thomas Mair, who was later convicted and given a life sentence.

Labour MP Rachael Maskell said she fears the "detestable" abuse could put women off standing for Parliament.

She said: "It is the vile views of individuals who at one point indicated that I should be next to be murdered after Jo Cox".

"We already know that fewer women than men are in Parliament, fewer women put themselves forward, and therefore we already have those inequalities built up for a range of reasons".

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, the representative for York Central said: "It's really quite shocking that 53 reports have come in from different forms of criminality, particularly online abuse, from members of Parliament".

Lib Dem chief whip Tom Brake said MPs had become targets on social media sites such as Twitter.

"I received a message from someone telling me "you should think very carefully about how you vote for the future of your family", which I referred to the police".

"You just know that for every abusive email I am going to get, women are probably going to get five times as many".

"I value the constituency link, I think it is one of the features of the UK Parliament which, frankly, makes being a member of Parliament worthwhile".