Tory MP admits doctoring Syria vote email to include death threat

Lucy Allan. © Wikipedia
Conservative MP Lucy Allan has defended modifying a message from a constituent to include a death threat, which she later publicized on Facebook in a bid to expose the “unacceptable” abuse she received for voting in favor of Syria airstrikes.

Allan, MP for Telford, said she changed the original email to include the words “unless you die” because she wanted to give examples of the kinds of abuse MPs receive.

The former accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers claims she received the death threat in a separate email, which the police are investigating.

Allan admitted modifying the message after the email’s author – Adam Watling – confronted her on Facebook about it.

Watling, who is the son of Telford and Wrekin Labour councilor Paul Watling, wrote the email urging Allan to vote against extending British airstrikes from Iraq into Syria under the pseudonym Rusty Shackleford.

It was absolutely not from any of my correspondence to Lucy. I am a peaceful person and would never make a threat of that nature,” he told the BBC.

Allan defended adding the death threat to the email, saying she merged two separate messages together when making the post.

I posted actual comments made to me on the same day, although not in the same email. Comments were added to the post as they came in. I posted them to show examples of the type of unacceptable online abuse that comes in most days and that most people tolerate silently,” she said.

The comments were not posted to discredit any individual. ‘Rusty’ could have been anyone, or a wholly fictional person. He chose to identify himself and came forward with a surname. At that point I took the post down.”

Allan has since deleted the Facebook post and her Twitter account.

The Telford MP joined Parliament earlier this year when she beat Labour incumbent David Wright by just 700 votes.