An MP’s staff member was told she would be hanged ‘in an independent Scotland’ by two men who turned up at his constituency office on Wednesday night, the Commons was told.
Conservative Luke Graham called for more to be done to protect people who work for politicians, as the incident was condemned as “despicable” by John Bercow.
Mr Graham, who represents Ochil and South Perthshire, raised a point of order with the Commons Speaker, saying: “Last night two individuals approached my constituency office, banging on the windows at the one member of staff who was in there.
“She was on her own, she approached the individuals and was told ‘in an independent Scotland all of you will be hanging’, and ‘we will be there at the front cheering on’.
“And also ‘I can’t wait to come and drag you from this office and get you to the noose’.
“Mr Speaker, my member of staff was on her own, if she was here now she would say she was a tough woman who was happy to take them, but she shouldn’t have to.”
I can’t wait to come and drag you from this office and get you to the noose
He added: “So could I ask your guidance how to stay as respectful as possible in this place and on social media and what can be done to help the security of our staff in our constituencies?”
Mr Bercow said “that behaviour was despicable and should be condemned unreservedly”, adding he was “sorry for what ghastly experience his staffer has undergone”.
On the point about respect, he said: “May I suggest these are difficult watchwords, none of us observes them unfailingly, including me, but my watchwords in terms of how we all conduct ourselves are this; political difference, personal amiability.”
He gave the example of veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke, the Father of the House, who he said is able to “express a robust view but to play the ball rather than the man or woman”.
The Speaker added that people who make threats or use violence because of a disagreement of view “need to be shown that is not acceptable, and where they break the law the full force will be applied to them”.