In recent years there has been an escalation of tensions in political debate. Public figures and politicians now receive high levels of abuse, including threats of violence, all of which have to be taken incredibly seriously following the dreadful murder of Jo Cox MP in 2016 and the thwarted plot to kill Rosie Cooper MP last year.
Nigel Farage’s comments about “betrayal” and saying we need to put the “fear of god” into MPs in the forthcoming European elections are deeply unhelpful. This sort of behaviour risks weakening our democracy, and restricting political debate. Whether you voted leave or remain, we should all be able to agree that engaging in intimidation and abusive behaviour is not acceptable, and I am pleased that the Minister acknowledged this.