A Tory MP has revealed she wears a stab proof jacket to meetings with constituents.
Virginia Crosbie said that threats directed at politicians are getting worse and called for social media companies to face fines for failing to act.
The MP for Anglesey / Ynys Mon said a lot of female colleagues were targeted, adding: “Even before we’ve had breakfast many of us have received one or two threats.”
Early last year Crosbie said she had reported around 30 threats, abusive emails, and social media posts to the police since being elected in 2019.
Asked by Gloria De Piero on GB News if the situation had improved, she replied: “No. Absolutely not. If anything, it’s even worse.”
During the interview, due to be broadcast on Sunday, Crosbie said: “I have been in difficult situations. I have surgeries, I do face to face surgeries where I wear a stab jacket, obviously following the murder of David Amess.
“And I have security protection as well. I think it’s important I have direct contact with my constituents.
“Unfortunately, this is one of the things I have to do to ensure that I can actually do the job that I was elected to do.”
She said there needed to be more accountability for abusers, adding: “People can turn to social media with impunity.”
Crosbie said Twitter accounts should be verified and social media companies should be fined for failing to act.
Despite the risks, Crosbie said she would still urge others to enter politics: “I’d say please step up and get involved. We need you. It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked and the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s an opportunity to make a huge difference to somebody. We need more women.”
During the interview, Crosbie also discussed how she nearly died in a car crash before going to university, adding: “I had around 10 years of surgery to put my face back together.”
She also spoke out about the suicide of her brother Simon, aged just 50.
“I think one of the saddest moments I’ve ever had was trying to put a tie on his young kids for the funeral,” Crosbie said.
The full interview is broadcast on GB News this Sunday on Gloria Meets from 6pm.
Help and support:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
- CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email [email protected]
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.