1 in 5 British politicians ‘attacked’ by aggressive voters, study finds

© Andrew Winning
British MPs claim they have been abused or violently attacked by aggressive voters, including threats made against their children, it has emerged.

A study published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology on Monday found 192 MPs had reported aggressive or intrusive behavior from voters, while 101 had received threats. 

Of the 239 MPs questioned for the survey, half said they had been targeted in their homes while 36 said they were scared to leave the house.

According to the research, carried out by seven Home Office psychiatrists, depression and anxiety often result from such abuse.

Some admitted they had been treated for mental disorders following ‘hate crime.’

‘Keep an eye on your children’ 

Among a series of statements provided by MPs who took part in the survey, one politician said a voter once told him to “keep an eye on your children.”

One MP claims he was punched in the face by a voter, while another alleges a voter “came at me with a hammer.”

[They] hit me with a brick,” one politician claimed.

Threats to kill me by telephone at home – call taken by my seven-year-old daughter. Wife received phone calls saying ‘I am going to kill you or one of your family,’” another MP said in a statement.

‘MPs get no security’ 

Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who spoke on the issue in the House of Commons, said MPs get “no added security.”

The one time there was a security threat when I was a minister was when the Fathers4Justice mob took issue with something I had done and we had intelligence that they might well install themselves on the roof of my house.

I rang the police and they said: ‘If you see anything, give us a ring.’

Just because we have lots of police with guns in Westminster doesn’t mean we are safe wherever we go.”

In December, it emerged a Muslim convert threatened to drop a bomb on Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie’s house and “show her what it’s like to murder innocents” after she voted in favor of extending airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) from Iraq into Syria.

In 2010, Labour MP Stephen Timms was stabbed twice in the stomach by a woman because he voted in favor of the Iraq war.

After what happened to me I was offered a knife arch for my surgeries, but I refused because that just makes it difficult for people to come and see you. It isn’t the MP I want to be,” he told the Observer.