MPs abuse: Tory Maria Caulfield opens up on the death threats she has received

Maria Caulfield spoke to talkRADIO about the death threats she has received

Maria Caulfield spoke to Sam Delaney about the abuse she has received

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Tory MP has opened up on the abuse she receives on a regular basis, telling talkRADIO she has been targeted with death threats as well as vandalism and graffiti.

Maria Caulfield was speaking to Sam Delaney after the Committee on Standards in Public Life published a report on intimidation and harassment of public figures, with recommendations on how the Government can tackle it.

The report recommends that the liability of illegal and offensive content should be shfited towards the social media companies themselves, and police forces should receive extra training to help them deal with such abuse.

Caulfield, a former nurse who was elected MP for Lewes in 2015, told Sam Delaney she's gone from an occupation which everyone loves to one which makes her a hate figure.

She said that, along with the death threats, she has had her tyres slashed and her office has been daubed with offensive graffiti. The abuse, she said, occurs "almost on a daily basis."

Caulfield also suggested that the Tories are more likely to receive abuse than Labour at present, simply because "we're in government at the moment and, when people aren't happy with the decisions the government are making, they take it out on that particular party."

She continued by suggesting female MPs are more likely to receive abuse than men, as are people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Sometimes the abuse comes from political parties, Caulfield said, but "most of the time it's just ordinary members of the public who are angry about an issue and instead of just trying to raise an issue, a concern, and say they disagree with you, take out personal abuse."

Turning to the effects of the abuse, Caulfield said it had forced her to install a video entry system at her office and she will never make a public announcement about where she is going.

Listen to the interview above