The MP who received the most abuse at the general election slams Theresa May’s new plans to ‘protect politicians’

Abuse

Diane Abbott, the MP who received more abuse than any other politician during the 2017 general election campaign, has spoken out against Theresa May’s proposed new law to protect politicians. Abbott described the proposals as “misguided” and “misconceived”.

The new law

May used the 100-year anniversary of some women getting the vote to announce the new law. She plans to create an offence of “intimidation in public office”; an offence that will carry a prison sentence of up to 12 months.

But her plans have been widely criticised. As one human rights lawyer has pointed out, a large range of offences already exist to prosecute offenders. And it’s a piece of legislation that even the police don’t want.

Diane Abbott

Almost half of all the abusive tweets sent to female MPs during the general election campaign were targeted at Abbott. She said:

It’s highly racialised and it’s also gendered because people talk about rape and they talk about my physical appearance in a way they wouldn’t talk about a man. I’m abused as a female politician and I’m abused as a black politician.

But writing in The Guardian on 6 February, Abbott was clear that she does not support May’s new plans. In particular, she does not understand why May is focusing on one group of people:

It is unclear why MPs or other elected representatives should have special treatment in law to protect them… The prime minister has failed to identify any new category of offence that is not currently illegal. Instead, she is focusing on a tiny new category of victims, and seeking to privilege their protection over the safety and security of all our citizens. In a democracy, we must all have the right to protection from crime, not just an elite.

Read on...

Time for a rethink

Given that an MP who received so much abuse has called May’s plans “misguided”, it’s time for a re-think. This is a chilling piece of legislation that will be used to crack down on free speech, while doing nothing to help stop the genuine abuse that exists.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Wikimedia and David Mirzoeff

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed