Burnham’s call for action on social media trolls

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham
  • Labour MPs who backed military action receive abuse
  • Andy Burnham calls for code of conduct around social media
  • Mr Burnham, Yvonne Fovargue and Lisa Nandy voted against air strikes

BOROUGH MP and shadow home secretary Andy Burnham says a code of conduct is needed to protect MPs from bullying and intimidation on social media.

The call for action comes after MPs were subjected to abuse following this week’s vote on air strikes in Syria.

Mr Burnham, the MP for Leigh, said there was concern about threats made towards those that voted in favour of military action.

He, along with borough Labour colleagues Lisa Nandy and Yvonne Fovargue, voted against the air strikes that received a clear majority following a 10 hour debate.

Following the vote the far-left political party Left Unity published a list of Labour MPs who backed air strikes, under the banner: “Deselect them now.”

And Ann Coffey, who has been Stockport MP since 1992 and supported military action, received e-mails branding her a “warmonger” and a “red Tory” and warning she would face a deselection campaign.

A firm line needs to be taken, a code of conduct around social media

Leigh MP Andy Burnham

Mr Burnham said: “It makes me sad about the current state of the Labour Party that people think they can treat somebody of long-standing and experience in Parliament like Ann in that way.

“She has served Stockport, her constituents and our party for many years with distinction, and people need to have a look at themselves before they go around throwing threats at people like that.

“A firm line needs to be taken, a code of conduct around social media. There cannot be abuse of members of Parliament by members of the Labour Party or supporters of the Labour Party. That isn’t the party I want to be in.

“If there’s evidence that people are abusive of colleagues in the Labour Party there should be no tolerance of that in my view.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said abuse levelled at his MPs “flies in the face” of what he stands for after he allowed a free vote on the military action.