Over half of female MPs have been physically threatened by members of the public

Over half of female MPs have been physical threatened by a member of public, a survey has revealed.

Research by BBC Radio Five Live, also found that nine out of ten female MPs had been abused online while 80 per cent have been verbally attacked.

Two thirds of those surveyed said they felt “less safe” since the murder of the Labour MP, Jo Cox last summer. As a result of threats and abuse, a third said they had considered quitting.

The survey questioned 73 of the 195 female MPs currently serving in the UK parliament.

One MP said, “The response by Parliament’s authorities, and sadly the police service, remains highly cavalier in the face of death threats and threats of violence.”

“We are expected to suck it up and accept it as part of our job.”

Another MP commented, “The feeling of not being able to protect my children was unexpected, as was having panic buttons fitted.”

The survey also revealed the level of sexism from within Parliament, with two thirds of female MPs saying they heard sexist comments. Nearly half agreed that their should be a crackdown on sexist behaviour.

One MP responded to the survey saying, “Told by one MP (male) that perhaps my place was in the kitchen washing the dishes.”

Rozina Breen, Head of News at Radio Five Live, said, “The purpose of this survey was to make sure our coverage of women’s politics continues to be as well informed and accurate as possible.”

“Additionally, it is important to us to understand the working conditions and potential obstacles that female MPs may face, but not necessarily speak up about.”

“We discovered some very interesting aspects about the reality of working as a female MP in Parliament today and we would like to thank all who took part and shared their thoughts and suggestions.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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