MP Natalie McGarry contacts police over online death threats

THE SNP's Natalie McGarry has been advised to step up security at her office after receiving death threats online.

SNP MP Natalie McGarry to step up security at Glasgow office after receiving online threats. Picture: John Devlin

The Glasgow East MP called police after being sent sickening messages threatening murder and rape via email, Facebook and Twitter.

The posts were sent after the MP’s trip to Turkey when she was briefly detained by security forces after using her mobile phone to  “record the sound of bombs” falling on a Kurdish area in the city of Diyarbakir.

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It is understood the MP contacted parliamentary security about the threats, who urged her to call the Metropolitan Police, before being later advised by Police Scotland to upgrade security at her constituency office in Glasgow.

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The MP said it was her duty to “stand up and speak out” about the abuse she faced.

She said: “Recently I have been on the receiving end of a barrage of threats of violence and misogynistic abuse.

“To be silent on this matter would allow these puerile people to win, instead I choose to stand in solidarity with women who have been intimidated and threatened online.

“Of course, I’m not the only woman or the only female MP to receive such abuse online.”

She added: “In the last month, Jess Phillips MP received more than 600 threats of sexual violence after speaking out about online bullying and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP passed more than 100 files of online abuse that she received to the authorities.

“This strikes at the heart of the challenge facing our politics and democracy. We already face a gulf in the equal representation of women, people living with disabilities and LGBT people in our democracy.

“People will be driven away from participating in politics as long as this savage side of the internet is left unchallenged.”

A Met Police spokeswoman said: “Police received an allegation of malicious communications on Thursday, March 10 towards a female MP.

“Police investigated the matter and found the message had been sent from overseas. The victim has been informed. No further police action was taken”

Ms McGarry was elected as an SNP MP in 2015 but resigned from the party whip amid a dispute over funding of the pro-independence campaign group Women for Independence.