Caller threatens Doncaster MP’s staff

Don Valley MP, Caroline Flint, says her staff member was verbally abused over the Syria airstrike vote.
Don Valley MP, Caroline Flint, says her staff member was verbally abused over the Syria airstrike vote.
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An anonymous caller is said to have made threats to a Doncaster MP’s staff member over the phone after the House of Commons vote on air strikes in Syria.

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint said the man ‘swore repeatedly, called her and her staff member warmongers’ and then hung up when he was asked for his name.

The threats people have received through social media have no place in political debates

Ms Flint voted in favour of extending military action from Iraq to Syria to combat Daesh and said the bullying and online abuse on social media suffered by her and colleagues had been unprecedented.

Ms Flint’s staff member, who works in her Don Valley constituency office, received the calls on Thursday and Friday last week, following the historic vote last Wednesday, December 2.

One person sent her an image of a dead baby and she also received comments saying she had ‘blood on her hands’.

Abuse aimed at Ms Flint, who has represented Don Valley since 1997, has also come directly from Labour members, whose comments will now be referred directly to the party.

Ms Flint said: “The threats and intimidation that people have received through social media and emails to their offices and letters to their offices has no place in political debates. Labour MPs of various views have a right to be outraged when these tactics are used.

“I have never received this sort of personal abuse and intolerance to any other point of view.

“It’s unprecedented.

“There are a number of things coming from people not in the Labour Party, but clearly some of them are in the Labour Party.

“We have had a rush of new membership and Jeremy Corbyn hoped this would ignite the grass roots campaign, but there’s been more campaigning against Labour MPs and that will only serve division and disunity.”

The torrent of online abuse hurled at MPs this past week has left many concerned for their own safety and prompted deputy Labour Party leader Tom Watson to say a new code of conduct will be drawn up by January with the intention it’s adopted by the party’s National Executive Committee.

Labour MPs Simon Danczuk and Neil Coyle have both reported receiving threats from members of the public, after voting in favour of carrying out airstrikes in Syria.

Mr Danczuk says his staff received more than 100 abusive calls following the vote last week.