Constituents 'shocked' as Ashfield MP Lee Anderson boots them from his social media

The MP for Ashfield has come under fire from his constituents after being blocked or muted on his social media pages.

By Katrina Taylor
Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 4:45 pm

Lee Anderson MP has been accused by his constituents of creating an ‘echo chamber’ on his social media page, with ‘hundreds’ blocked or muted for challenging their MP’s views or tone of his social media posts.

This follows on from previous calls for the MP to clean up his social media pages, after failing to remove inappropriate comments from his supporters over the death of a refugee off the coast of Calais.

His constituents are now alleging they have been blocked or muted if questioning the MP’s stance on issues or mentioning his voting record.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Lee Anderson MP has come under fire for blocking constituents.

One constituent, Sam Burton, had attempted contact with his MP after finding himself blocked.

The 26-year-old from Sutton-in-Ashfield said: “I had never been abusive to Lee, so I was shocked.

"Over the last few months, my respect for Lee was increasing as I felt, despite disagreeing with his views, that he was tolerant and a man of his word.

"However, I have been blocked for having a different opinion and presenting news articles from credible sources, when misleading claims or highly emotive/divisive messages are put out by Lee.

Sam Burton says he was 'shocked' to discover he had been blocked from his MP's page

“I can guarantee that I have never used foul language and have never spoken disrespectfully to others on his page.

"I have reached out to Lee to ask what resulted in my ban, but was simply told the ban will remain, with no explanation.

“It is wrong that, during a time of national lockdown when spaces for public conversation are limited, that I have been pushed out like this.”

A new group called ‘Lee Anderson MP doesn’t speak for me’ was formed last month as many were commenting on other pages saying they had been muted or blocked from his MP page.

Many members have shared screenshots of conversations which resulted in their subsequent ban or mute.

When approached for comment, Mr Anderson released the following statement: “I find it a bit rich that the same reporter from the Chad is running a story about me blocking abusive constituents when just a few months ago the same reporter ran a story on me for not blocking people who had made abusive comments.

"Katrina the Chad reporter needs to let me know what the Chad thinks is the right thing to do.

"I will continue to block abusive people and remove racist, homophobic and other outrageous comments.

"My staff and I should not have to tolerate this vile behaviour, that aside regardless of their behaviour my door is always open and I will help anyone.

"Finally, this Facebook group is allegedly run by Labour Party members and anyone with an ounce of common sense would see straight through this story.”

Mr Anderson was presented with examples from constituents who had been blocked, along with Mr Burton's emails requesting he reconsider the ban.

One said: "I got banned when he claimed to have convinced the health secretary to put Covid testing in Kirkby, when in fact it had already been announced a week before. I never used foul language.”

Mr Anderson refused to comment further.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this article.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever.

Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper.

Nancy Fielder, editor.