Defiant Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry says she is determined “not to give in to hate” after she received a shocking death-threat on Twitter.
Ms Soubry, who voted Remain in the EU referendum, had just tweeted her satisfaction at the result of last week’s by-election in Richmond Park, claiming it was a “sensational” rejection of plans for a ‘hard Brexit’.
She was stunned to receive this message from a man in response: “Someone jo cox Ann sourby please”, which was a chilling reference to the murder of Labour MP and EU supporter Jo Cox in her Yorkshire constituency during the week before the referendum.
The Conservative MP, who was 60 on Wednesday, replied: “Take it that wasn’t a spelling mistake. You’re a sad cowardly troll”, to which the man replied: “lol, get jo coxed you old bint”. The offensive messages were soon deleted and the man’s account shut down. But Ms Soubry reported the matter to the police, who later arrested a 25-year-old man at his home in Bethnal Green, east London.
Ms Soubry told her 31,000 followers on Twitter: “This is what has happened to our politics. Tolerance and free speech must prevail.”
Later she thanked Nottinghamshire police for their “excellent” response and also hundreds of tweeters who had condemned the man. “Thank u everyone for much appreciated support,” she wrote. “Voices of hope and tolerance will not be bullied off Twitter. We must not give in to hate.”
Ms Soubry, who has been one of the most outspoken MPs against a ‘hard Brexit’, said it was the second death threat she had received inside a week.
A Twitter spokesman said it did not comment on individual accounts “for privacy and security reasons”. But the Crown Prosecution Service states a social-media user has broken the law if they send “communications which may constitute threats of violence to the person”.