Police protection for SNP MP Joanna Cherry after death threats

The SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry at a campaign stop with Nicola Sturgeon
The SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry at a campaign stop with Nicola Sturgeon
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An SNP MP received police protection after being sent death threats over her stand against misogynistic abuse on social media.

Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry was the target of a “very unpleasant and unsettling” torrent of abuse after questioning social media bosses last week about the lack of protection for women on their platforms.

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Police were called after one message included details of a constituency surgery alongside a picture of a gun, and the message: “Do it.”

After seeking advice from the Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland, two officers went to Ms Cherry’s Edinburgh office “as a precaution” and interviewed staff.

On Wednesday, at a meeting of the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the SNP MP presented social media executives from Facebook and Twitter with examples of graphic and foul language targeted at women which is not covered by the platforms’ user policy.

“As a result, I have received a barrage of offensive abusive tweets and emails, some of which were very threatening,” Ms Cherry told the Herald.

“In response, my office contacted Police Scotland, who advised that I should have a police escort at my constituency surgery on Friday.

“This has been very unpleasant and upsetting for me and my staff. However, I am determined not to be intimidated and to continue to discharge my duties as a constituency MP and in Parliament.”

She added: “I am very grateful for the huge number of supportive letters, emails and tweets I have received from constituents, ordinary SNP members and indeed people from across the UK and abroad."

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon defends BBC journalist from online abuse
The incident comes as leading figures in the SNP issued a call to the independence movement to disown 'cybernats' accused of targeting opponents with abuse.

Ms Cherry tweeted on Sunday: "I look forward to my male colleagues quoted in this article being equally condemnatory of the vile misogyny on twitter which has so escalated that I had to have a police escort at my constituency surgery after I called it out".