General election: Watchdog warns Tory Party about ‘fairness’
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Ms Leadsom said that women are being turned off going into politics because of the abuse they may face on social media. She claims this is partly due to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter failing to crack down on the issue, she told the Daily Telegraph. Ms Leadsom, who last week faced her own tirade of abuse from anti-Brexit protesters outside of Parliament prompting police to escort her out of the House of Commons to safety, said the sheer volume of abuse was "totally unacceptable".
She added: "It's a fact that many women are being turned off politics.
"I so fret that. Its absolutely appalling to see the level of abuse that some fantastic colleagues across all parties face."
She went on to state the names of female MPs who have quit after facing vile comments and bullying online, such as Nicky Morgan and Heidi Allen, who cited abuse as the reason they threw in the towel.
She added: "It's people like Luciana Berger and Diane Abbott, and people on my side of the House who have had appalling abuse.
Ms Leadsom said that women are being turned off going into politics because of the abuse (Image: GETTY)
Ms Leadsom last week faced her own tirade of abuse from anti-Brexit protesters outside of Parliament (Image: GETTY)
"We need to stamp out abuse online particularly the abuse of people who are trying to serve the public.
"That's why we go into politics to serve the public and help the world around us. In a sense it is the ease of abusing people online that is a real problem.
"It is the online environment, where we have plans where we have plans to require change, but at the same time it's for the tech giants to do more to stamp out abusive content."
Ms Leadsom made reference to Boris Johnson's White Paper on Online Harms.
Heidi Allen is another MP who faced abuse (Image: GETTY)
This, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, "sets out the Government's plans for a world-leading package of online safety measures that also supports innovation and a thriving digital economy.
"This package comprises legislative and non-legislative measures and will make companies more responsible for their users' safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups.
"The White Paper proposes establishing in law a new duty of care towards users, which will be overseen by an independent regulator.
"Companies will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms, ranging from illegal activity and content to behaviours which are harmful but not necessarily illegal."
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Ms Berger has spoken out about anti-Semetic abuse in the Labour Party (Image: GETTY)
A consultation on the matter closed in July, when Mr Johnson took over from previous Prime Minister Theresa May.
Ms Leadsom's remarks come after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage condemned the abuse Remainer MPs have suffered but insisted they should not be surprised at the outrage felt around the country.
A Christmas snap election has been called resulting in MPs having to decide whether they will stand.
Mr Farage explained that many MPs had already decided not to stand in the election and reflected on Ms Allen's decision not to stand.
Ms Morgan quit earlier this week (Image: GETTY)
Ms Allen revealed she would not be standing due to the abuse she had received.
Mr Farage condemned this behaviour but added that MPs should not be surprised at the outrage felt by the electorate during this Brexit period, especially if they had switched parties without holding a by-election.
Mr Farage said: "Already 47 sitting members of Parliament have said they are not going to stand again.
"Including one Heidi Allen.
Mr Farage said MPs should expect some abuse (Image: GETTY)
"Now, she was elected of course, in 2017 in the general election for the Conservatives in South Cambridgeshire.
"She was elected on a manifesto of leaving the European Union, honouring the referendum result and no deal being better than a bad deal.
“And she, of course, earlier on this year, defected to Change UK.
"But not happy with that, she then defected to the Liberal Democrats.
The general election date is December 12 (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)
“So she sat so far this year for three different parties in the House of Commons, without once ever bothering to speak to her constituents or give them a chance to have a by-election to see whether they supported her behaviour.
“And she cites the reason for standing down the nastiness and intimidation that says that she’s endured as a politician.
"I completely understand, Heidi Allen, when you’re at home, out shopping, people shouting abuse you in the streets all the rest of it isn’t much fun, I know I’ve had years of it.
“And I don’t encourage any behaviour like that whatsoever. But I do think Heidi Allen, that if you’ve been in three different political groupings in the space of one year, without giving your constituents who voted for you on a Conservative manifesto of Leave, and now you want to remain, you know, don’t be surprised that people are upset with you.
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“I’m not condoning it, but I’m making the point.”
Parliament will be prorogued on Monday, November 4, 25 working days before election day.
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