Nicky Morgan MP has told James Whale that the worst thing about Brexit is the trolling.
Last year, the Loughborough MP reported abusive tweets to the police, after she was “threatened with violence” by trolls who referred to murdered MP Jo Cox.
“The difficulty with all of this has been - I’ve never seen a political situation like it in 30 years, it’s not just arguing about an event or an idea or a policy, but the unpleasantness that goes with it,” Morgan told Whale.
“It’s all done by a small group of people - targeted Facebook ads to our constituents, push polling to our constituents to ask whether we should be deselected.”
“I would ignore them,” Whale said.
- Read more: Downing Street shut down Boris Johnson’s claims he was ‘taken in’ over Brexit
- Read more: 'Parliament is entitled to see full Brexit analysis after leak to media', says MP Nicky Morgan
“I cannot understand why people get upset about trolls, just ignore them. They’re pathetic and probably very spotty people who’ve got nothing better to do.”
“I think that’s right, but there are times when it tips over into something else, and we’ve had to go to court and give evidence,” Morgan said.
“One of my colleagues, Anna Soubry, has had three people prosecuted successfully now because of threats they’ve sent her.
“The police have been very good about it, but would we want this for the way our politics are conducted? No, of course we wouldn’t.”
Last June, 25-year-old Michael McAlpine was given a suspended jail sentence after tweeting that Anna Soubry should “have a heart attack” and “get Jo Coxed”.
'Remain campaign could have done a better job'
“Do you blame David Cameron?” asked Whale.
“No,” Morgan replied.
“Having been there, there was a massive clamour for a vote - nobody under the age of 60 had had a say in the EU, we’d tried for the best part of 40 years to forge a relationship but there was massive, widespread unhappiness.
“Different parts of the country view this differently, but what I do regret - I think the Remain campaign was not the right one to encourage people to vote, it could have done a better job.”
“It didn’t have a figurehead, it didn’t make enough noise, the Brexiteers had the PR down to a T.” agreed Whale.
Remainer Nicky Morgan is one of the so-called Tory rebels - although she voted against a Lords’ amendment to the Brexit bill in June that would have allowed MPs to block a no-deal Brexit.