A Conservative MP uses The Daily Mail to attack Jeremy Corbyn. It doesn’t go very well. [TWEETS]

Timothy J. Woods

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has attempted to attack Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter. But the stunt did not end well, as social media users were quick to point out the MP’s hypocrisy.

Dorries tweeted “This is Corbyn’s Labour”, with an image of a front page from The Daily Mail on 16 December. The tabloid ran a story about a Conservative MP and his wife allegedly receiving abuse on social media. 

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The abuse is reported to have occurred after the MP heckled the Labour leader during a House of Commons debate on the budget, over his age. Corbyn, who was talking about support for elderly people at the time, said that such behaviour should be “called out”.

Ridiculous

Scores of people responded to Dorries’ tweet, ridiculing it:

https://twitter.com/WelshAlbino/status/942164935580311553

Clutching at straws

Corbyn has condemned online abuse. In a code of conduct published during the 2016 Labour leadership contest, Corbyn wrote:

There should be no personal hostility and nobody should feel intimidated at any time. So no foul or abusive language will be tolerated and all candidates should be listened to with courtesy and respect…

But The Daily Mail‘s story still links alleged abusive behaviour from individuals directly to Corbyn.

Furthermore, Dorries herself recently called for the deselection of 11 Conservative MPs who voted against the government on an element of the Brexit bill.

The Daily Mail reacted to the Brexit ‘rebellion’ with a front page naming all of the rebel MPs and printing their photos under the headline Proud of yourselves?

Critics accused the newspaper of “bullying” and putting MPs at risk.

In the aftermath of the rebellion, Conservative MP Dominic Grieve revealed he’d reported death threats, amid a “torrent” of abuse, to the police. He said:

You only have to look at the vitriol, the death threats – I don’t do social media, but even so I’ve had to report certain things off to the police… It is a torrent – and it is all ‘you are stopping Brexit’.

Yes, I have had death threats. All my colleagues have had threats, mine were a voicemail message and a couple of emails…

Calculated

The allegations of abuse at the centre of this story are very serious. Nevertheless, Dorries and The Daily Mail have both used them to try to smear Corbyn. They’ve attempted to associate him with the kind of behaviour that he has repeatedly condemned. But as the chorus of tweets debunking that association demonstrate, people aren’t so easily manipulated.

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