Ashfield MP says social media is a 'cesspit' after criticism over 'disgusting' constituents' comments
The MP for Ashfield has come under fire from constituents for failing to remove comments about asylum seekers from his official facebook page.
Lee Anderson shared an article from The Metro about the body of a young man that had washed ashore in Calais to his official facebook page, Lee Anderson MP.
The comment section included comments which asked “Could we introduce great whites into the channel, just a thought?” and “What we need is thunder and lightning and massive high tides”, much to the horror of some followers.
One constituent attempted to highlight her disgust at the comments by tagging his profile into her comment, but people were upset to see Lee reply to another comment some hours later without addressing her concerns or removing the offending comments.
Lee Anderson explained: “I completely disagree with every word written by them and have searched the individuals on Facebook and blocked them.
“I receive thousands of comments, likes and notifications on my Facebook and when I have the time to go through comments I delete and block threatening or abusive comments I see such as the ones you have sent me.
"The vast majority of my time is spent dealing with constituents casework, of which I receive hundreds of emails, calls and letters a week, and I simply do not have the time to go through every comment posted on my social media.
“Social media is a cesspit, and I also receive hundreds of abusive and threatening comments and messages.
"I do not see the majority of these but my family and friends often send me them, such as the one I received recently suggesting myself and the rest of my party should be taken outside and shot.”
"I have also been threatened by someone who threatened to break my legs.
"I made an official complaint to the police about this and consequently due to the increasing threats myself, my family and my team receive, I carry a personal alarm with me and have installed cctv at my constituency office, alongside other security measures.
“Any constituents who see abusive comments on my Facebook should email me directly about them, as my team and myself will then be able to remove them and block the individual immediately.”
Lee can be contacted via email on [email protected]
According to Nottinghamshire Police, any incident where someone is targeted because of their identity is classed as a hate crime.
According to their website: "We can take action against offenders.
"All hate crime is serious: everyone has the right to live their life without fear of prejudice, discrimination and hate.”
Leader of the Ashfield Independents, Jason Zadrozny said: “It's not good enough to ignore vile comments on your social media, as elected members we have a duty to challenge behaviour that stokes violence and hatred, especially that which advocates harm or breaking the law.
"Turning a blind eye to this sort of comment is tantamount to condoning it. We should be raising the level of debate as representatives of the people.”