Theresa May has condemned threats of violence against politicians after a series of incidents in which MPs received death threats and abuse.
The Prime Minister said there is “no place in our politics” for intimidation and called for “tolerance, decency and respect”.
Her comments came after Tory Brexit rebels were subjected to vicious abuse after they supported an amendment to the EU Withdrawal bill, with Anna Soubry revealing she had received messages suggesting she should be “hanged in public” for “treason”.
They follow the publication of a report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life which said social media was “the most significant factor” driving harassment, abuse and intimidation of 2017 General Election candidates.
Ms May said: “Threats of violence and intimidation are unacceptable and have no place in our politics. Everybody should be treated with tolerance, decency and respect.”
Ms Soubry told the Guardian: “I got an email from somebody yesterday saying: ‘In the past, traitors were taken out and shot’. It’s appalling.”
Another Brexit rebel, Sarah Wollaston, said she had also been targeted, while former attorney general Dominic Grieve, the ringleader of the revolt which saw Mrs May suffer her first Commons defeat, said he had faced death threats.
Brexit bonhomie as May finally seals agreement with EU leaders
The Mail on Sunday reports that left-wing activists targeted the heavily pregnant wife of an unnamed Tory MP after he challenged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons.
One told her ”’hope your baby dies“ while a Facebook used said he would ”spear“ the MP while he was out jogging and another vowed to ”put your head on a spike“.
The increasingly bitter atmosphere around British politics has led the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to call for a Christmas truce – like the ceasefire in the First World War.
”If we go back 103 years, we find Christmas 1914 there was a ceasefire. It would be very good to have a ceasefire from insult and the use of pejorative terms about people at this time,“ he told the BBC.