News ID: 261247
Published: 0247 GMT November 07, 2019

Many female MPs are too fearful to run in general election

Many female MPs are too fearful to run in general election

Following the murder in 2016 of Jo Cox, MP, who had spoken out on the ‘racism and fascism’ of Britain First, an anti-Islam right wing group, there have been a troubling number of death threats against female politicians in the UK.

As a consequence of the repeated threats to their person, as well as threats of a sexual nature, and pressure which has apparently become unbearable, many female MPs have decided to stand down in the forthcoming election, Presstv Reported.

The former culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, declared her intention on twitter on 30th October. She included a letter in which she gives “the clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involved in, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP” as a major factor for her decision.

Amber Rudd, former Home Secretary, a moderate Tory like Nicky Morgan, also announced her departure on the same day saying in a letter to The Bucks Herald where she said: “I have come to the conclusion that now is the right time for me to give a higher priority in terms of my time and energy, to … my family.”

Many of the MPs leaving the Conservatives are female. One in six of the women who were elected for the party in 2017 have either quit or stood down.

Former conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman, 61, another to step down said the: "intensity of abuse arising out of Brexit" resulted in her decision.

She said the worst abuse had come after she supported an amendment earlier this year to demonstrate there was no majority in Parliament for a no-deal Brexit.

"I have never experienced anything like the last few years," she said.

Ms Spelman, an MP for 22 years whose constituency sits in between Birmingham and Coventry, said: "Myself, my family and my staff have borne an enormous brunt of abuse and I think quite frankly we've had enough.

"The anonymity the internet affords allows people to say things which if they said it to your face or they wrote it down, would not be legal."

In an interview with Aljazeera, Labour candidate, Olga Fitzroy, believes the recent increase in misogynistic and racist behaviour stems from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s, frequent use of ‘irresponsible language’, such as calling Muslim women ’letterboxes’, words such as ‘traitor, betrayal, and surrender’, which have been echoed, verbatim, in death threats sent to female MPs.


When the Right Honourable Prime Minister was asked by Tracy Brabin, who replaced Jo Cox as MP For Batley and Spen: ‘As the woman who has taken over a seat left by our dear friend Jo Cox, can I ask him in all honesty as a human being please, please will he going forward moderate his language so that we will all feel secure when we’re going about our jobs,’ he responded thus: ‘I have never hear such humbug in my life’.

Anna Subrey, a barrister and journalist before standing in the 2010 election as a conservative, though now the leader of The Independent Group, Change UK, was accosted by a number of violent persons outside parliament earlier this year. Several arrested were made.

Despite calls for calm having been made on various fronts, many, on both sides of the Brexit issue, leave and remain, believe it is worth the consequence to perpetrate violence upon the person of MPs should this lead to their desired outcome for Brexit.

Could it be a coincidence that Crimes against MPs doubled last year and that a parliamentary report found that abuse against politicians is now "commonplace"?



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