Hillary Clinton says Boris Johnson’s government is not doing enough to protect female MPs

Metro 3 weeks ago
Hillary Clinton and murdered MP Jo Cox
Hillary Clinton tells the UK government it needs to do more to protect women (Pictures: PA/ITV)

Hillary Clinton has urged the UK government to do more to protect its female MPs after increasing levels of abuse.

The former US Presidential candidate said she had spoken to British politicians who told her they were ‘scared’ in the wake of the murder of Labour’s Jo Cox.

A record number of female politicians across the political spectrum have announced they will not be standing in next month’s General Election.

Speaking to ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday morning, Mrs Clinton said: ‘I saw with such horror the murder of Jo Cox.

‘It was a political assassination.

‘I have talked with current and former women members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and they are scared because they are being threatened and intimidated.’

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listen during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton lost out to Donald Trump in the US Presidential race (Picture: AP)

A number of high-profile MPs, including former ministers Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan, have announced they are stepping down because of online abuse and threats against them and their families.

Lib Dem Heidi Allen cited the toxic atmosphere as her reason to quit, saying she was ‘exhausted by the invasion into my privacy and the nastiness and intimidation that has become commonplace.’

Mrs Clinton said social media was being used to attack people and the government had not done enough to condemn the abuse.

She continued: ‘The social media effect where people are being threatened with death and other attacks, this has to stop and your government should be really clear about that.

‘Your government needs to stand up and say “We don’t want to lose women, regardless of party. We want women to stand for office, be elected and serve.

‘And we are going to make it really clear that we are going to protect these women and we are going to do everything possible to enable them, to fulfil their own dream of being an elected leader and we can’t allow people to be intimated from being full participants in democracy.’

Hillary Clinton tells UK to do more to protect women
Hillary Clinton spoke to Lorraine Kelly this morning (Picture: ITV)
PA
Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered just before the EU referendum (Picture: PA)

Groups campaigning for equality in parliament have said they are ‘alarmed’ at the number of women who are stepping down.

Frances Scott of 50:50 Parliament said: ‘The online threats can be extremely personal and violent in nature.

‘Women have received death threats, threats of rape, there’s also been threats made to family, children, close relatives and fathers.

‘It’s frightening.’

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting on March 19, 2019 in London, England. Yesterday, speaker John Bercow was accused of trying to sabotage Theresa May's Brexit deal by refusing to allow a third meaningful vote unless the Government's proposal was substantially different, citing a parliamentary convention dating back to 1604. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images) The work and pensions secretary has quit the cabinet and Conservative Party, saying she cannot "stand by" while "loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled".
Former Cabinet minister Amber Rudd has announced she is stepping down (Picture: Reuters)
Britain's Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan arrives in Downing street in London for the weekly cabinet meeting on October 29, 2019. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a fresh attempt today to force an early election, despite MPS rejecting his plan, after the European Union agreed to postpone Brexit for up to three months. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Nicky Morgan is a high-profile Tory who has announced she won’t run for the December election (Picture: Getty)

A recent study by the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee found that online abuse is putting women off standing for election.

Two-thirds of female MPs said that progress on tackling violence against women in politics, including online abuse, impacted their willingness to stand for re-election.

That compared to one-in-four male MPs.

Jo Cox died after being shot and stabbed multiple times in Birstall, West Yorkshire, just days before the 2016 EU referendum.

Far-right terrorist Thomas Mair launched the attack screaming ‘this is for Britain’ and has since been jailed for life for the MP’s murder.

ONE EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING. NO ALTERING OR MANIPULATING. NO USE ON SOCIAL MEDIA UNLESS AGREED BY HOC PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICE. MANDATORY CREDIT: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor Handout photo issued by UK Parliament of Labour MP Paula Sherriff during the debate on the motion for an Early Parliamentary General Election in the House of Commons, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday October 28, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Labour MP Paula Sherriff asked MPs to moderate their language to protect them from threats but she was rebuked by the Prime Minister (Picture: PA)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside number 10 Downing Street in central London on November 6, 2019. - The splintered country is entering its third general election in four years in search of a solution to a monumental crisis launched by the voters' decision in 2016 to file for a divorce from the European Union after nearly 50 years. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson dismissed accusations that inflammatory language had led to increasing attacks as ‘humbug’ (Picture: AFP)

Female politicians have appealed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to moderate his language surrounding Brexit.

During a fiery debate in the House of Commons in September, MP Paula Sherriff told of receiving death threats and touched about her colleague’s murder.

She told Mr Johnson: ‘Many of us are subject to death threats and abuse every single day. And they often quote his words – surrender act, betrayal, traitor.

‘We must moderate our language and it must come from the Prime Minister first.’

Mr Johnson retaliated, calling the concern ‘humbug.’


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