MP Flick Drummond quits Twitter over out of hand abuse

MP Flick Drummond quits Twitter over out of hand abuse

An MP has quit Twitter after saying the number of abusive comments sent to her has got out of control.

Speaking at a debate about the online abuse of women MPs, Flick Drummond said she would not return to the platform “for the foreseeable future”.

The Conservative member for Meon Valley in Hampshire told Westminster Hall: “Social media is getting out of hand, and it is intimidating.”

She said women would be put off from public life unless things changed.

The BBC has asked Twitter to comment.

It comes after the Premier League said it was planning a social media blackout next month in response to continued online abuse of players.

In her speech, Ms Drummond said: “Like others, I have come off Twitter. There was no point in looking at comments designed to hurt one personally rather than deal with politics.”

She cited The Fawcett Society’s recent findings of a trend towards women not seeking to be elected into positions of power, with online abuse playing a factor.

She added: “If a woman raises her head above the parapet, it triggers even more abuse, so many of us wonder whether it is worth talking about a controversial topic.

“That is stultifying discussion, especially given that the diversity of a woman’s perspective is often helpful.

“We are tough as politicians, but we are also human beings. Many of us have families whom we want to protect as well as ourselves.

“I challenge every single person to confront this unacceptable behaviour, otherwise we will have to put further consequences in place to combat it.”

The debate was put forward by Maria Miller, the MP for Basingstoke, to discuss the increasing problem of online abuse.

In 2018, Birmingham Yardley Labour MP Jess Phillips said in one night she received 600 rape threats and was threatened with violence and aggression every day.

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