UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: Thank you very much, Mr Hanson, for your role this afternoon. I also thank colleagues from both sides of the House for such useful contributions and the Government for taking such immediate action on this. We even got a letter from the Prime Minister before the Minister had got to his feet, so things are working well. I apologise for going on too long at the beginning, particularly to my hon....

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: Will the hon. Lady give way?

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: rose—

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: I’m already wound up! [Laughter.]

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: The hon. Lady is psychic, among many other things. What she said was going to be my next comment. I absolutely agree with her. There is another element with the existing laws, which is how few people know that they exist. Indeed, some law enforcement agencies do not know that they exist. The questions I will be putting to the Minister in a few minutes are partly intended to get a greater...

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that contribution. Legislation of course already exists to deal with such incidents but, as we touched on before, it is not always easily accessible. It is not always entirely advantageous to be distracted by that during an election campaign.

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: I could not have put it better myself. In fact, I would expand it to outside election times, too. As we have heard today, this problem is not limited to that four or five-week period every three or four years. My second question to the Minister is about reviewing existing laws and seeing which work and which should work but are not being enforced. Where there are gaps, we should recommend how...

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: I beg to move, That this House has considered abuse and intimidation of candidates and the public in UK elections. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hanson. I should start by saying that since the election the Conservative Whips Office has been dealing with at least three credible threats to colleagues every week, including death threats, criminal damage, sexism, racism,...

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: I am sure that a number of colleagues would agree with that contribution; I certainly do. I will be coming to some proposals and thoughts on social media in just a moment. I want to take a moment to describe the example of our former colleague Byron Davies, who until recently was the MP for Gower. During the election campaign he was subjected to a sustained attack on Twitter that contained...

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)
Simon Hart: I absolutely recognise that point, and I will come to it later in my speech. There will be individual contributions from Members who might have had particular experiences that defy that challenge, but I agree with the hon. Lady, and I am grateful to her for making that point so early in proceedings.


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