Excrement and razors sent to politicians in post

A total of 121 Welsh politicians tell researchers they have suffered abuse.

Razor blade
Razor blades were among the things sent to politicians

Excrement and razor blades have been sent through the post to Welsh politicians, research has found.

A total of 121 Welsh politicians told the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) they have suffered abuse.

It sent a survey asking every Welsh Assembly member, Welsh MP, MEP and councillor for their experiences of harassment.

The society said some examples were "genuinely shocking, disturbing and criminal".

The ERS said harassment and abuse were among the barriers putting people off entering politics.

A total of 266 politicians responded to the ERS survey, including 224 councillors, 26 AMs, 11 MPs and one MEP.

Of them, 40 respondents said they had suffered abuse online and one AM said she had suffered racist abuse.

One politician told the survey they were sent excrement through the post "in a (very tacky) Valentine's card".

"Do you just accept it.... or then are you part of the problem," asked Bethan Sayed

Bethan Sayed, a Plaid Cymru AM, said she had experienced racial attacks since her marriage to Cardiff International Film Festival founder Rahil Sayed, who is from India.

She told BBC Radio Wales she had been sworn at and had comments about her appearance and racist abuse about her name and wedding dress on social media.

"I haven't really ever experienced those things, because I've got the most [Welsh name], Bethan Jenkins, I come from the south Wales valleys, and you've never had to face those sort of racist comments before," she said.

"I can't even imagine what people from BME backgrounds are having to go through in their every day lives if that's what I get within two or three months of getting married."

She said people needed to be educated more about what politicians actually do, as she said part of the tension stemmed from people feeling frustrated at things not changing fast enough.

"People say to me 'well just put up with it', and 'get on with it', but should we really have to," she said.

One politician said they had been "slapped on the bottom"

Two politicians talked about suffering sexual harassment while undertaking elected duty.

One said they received "inappropriate sexual advances by constituents during advice surgeries and during door-to-door canvassing sessions".

Another recounted that they were once "slapped on the bottom", and that someone had attempted to pull them under a tree and kiss them.

One respondent told the survey: "When I worked for politicians I had access to their social media, answered the phone on their behalf and opened their correspondence.

"I opened an envelope with razor blades stuck to the inside."

The respondent added that a rock and a traffic cone were thrown at the politician's shop-front office window, "shattering the glass all over my colleague".

'Massive barrier'

They added that a constituent had stalked them to their home.

"I have been a councillor for 14 years, I've won four elections and I've never had so much hassle or dissent as I have had in the last two years," Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport council, said in evidence to the ERS.

Jess Blair, director ERS Cymru, said Welsh political parties should develop a joint code of conduct on intimidating behaviour.

She said: "If you look at politics from the outside, if you are a normal person sitting at home thinking 'I could do that' and you think whether you want to be trolled on social media or whether you want to be away from your family half the week, whether you want to travel huge distances; those things are a massive barrier - more than actually standing for a political party.

"The realities of public life need to be addressed."




Date: 11 July 2018 | Source: BBC

More UK News

Grenfell fire: Ban on combustible material 'not enough'

A committee of MPs say a wider ban on combustible material and requiring sprinklers would save lives..

The story of how one compilation came to rule them all

The full, untold story of Now That's What I Call Music - by the people who made it

Could a prime minister ever have a Brummie accent?

What difference does a person's accent make to getting on in politics

Pte Sean Benton: Coroner to rule on Deepcut army base death

A second inquest has been held after Pte Sean Benton died of gunshot wounds more than 20 years ago

The real cabbage soup diet: What Britons ate down the ages

Ancient Britons were eating dairy, peas, cabbage and oats, according to gunk trapped in their teeth..

Schools alone cannot fix childhood obesity, says Ofsted boss

Factors beyond the school gate make it impossible for schools to affect pupils' weight, says repor
View More

More Telford News

 Telford's Poundworld store avoids the axe

Telford's Poundworld store has avoided the axe after administrators announ..

 Plan is drawn up to tackle Telford cancer rates

A comprehensive plan has been drawn up to tackle the number of people dyin..

 Giant ducks causing a splash at new Southwater home in Telford - with pictures

The Let’s Go Quackers ducks have been causing a splash after landing in So..

 Shropshire knife crime: Young father is jailed for Telford street attack

A street scuffle in Telford led to one man being stabbed and another in ja..

 World Championship date in Italy for Telford schoolgirl

Shropshire schoolgirl Grace Garbett is jetting off to Italy this week to pa..

 Shropshire clubs serving up free tennis as part of the Great British Tennis Weekend

Five Shropshire clubs are preparing to serve up free tennis after signing u..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

[[countdown here]]

Upcoming Events in Telford

21 Jul 2018

Saturday - 10am - 5pm

Sunday - 10am - 6.30pm


A ticketed charity gala open-air concert in aid of the Severn Hospice, Brass Night of the Proms, will take place on Saturday evening, 9th July from 7.30pm. Compered by BBC Radio Shropshire presenter, Eric Smith, it will feature the Ifton Colliery Band and the Band of the Royal Signals; covered seating will be provided, or bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the grass. Please visit the website for more information.

View Details

04 Aug 2018

Practice starts at 4pm on Friday 3 August

Racing starts on Saturday 4 August at 12noon and Sunday 6 August at 10.30am


Free

View Details

04 Aug 2018

See above


Please check show links for ticket prices

View Details

04 Aug 2018

Saturday 4 August 2018

7:30pm


£35 - £45

View Details
View More