Third of Scottish MSPs have received death threats since election, poll finds

A third of MSPs have received death threats since they were elected, a survey has found.

By Neil Pooran
Monday, 15th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 15th February 2021, 4:55 pm
The Scottish Parliament building. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.
The Scottish Parliament building. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.

Some 70 per cent of politicians who responded to Holyrood magazine’s poll said they had been concerned for their safety since joining the Scottish Parliament.

A total of 67 MSPs took part in the survey, which was carried out earlier this month.

As well as 33 per cent of all MSPs receiving death threats, the figure rose to 46 per cent for female MSPs.

Joanna Cherry has said she was subjected to an 18-month campaign of abuse

While 29 per cent of female MSPs reported receiving threats of sexual violence, no male MSPs reported any such threats.

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The Scottish Parliament said it had stepped up security following the murder of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox in 2016.

A spokesman said: “Jo Cox’s death made us all look again at members’ safety and, regrettably, the threat elected representatives face on a daily basis.

“Over this session of Parliament, the SPCB (Scottish Parliament Corporate Body) has funded security enhancements to more than 80 per cent of constituency and regional offices based on Police Scotland advice.

“We have also made lone worker devices available to members and their staff, plus home security surveys are available to MSPs, which are undertaken by Police Scotland.”

The spokesman added: “The Scottish Parliament’s Security Office and Police Scotland provide advice and support to members on a range of security issues, proactively and in response to any concerns raised.

“Work is already at an advanced stage by our Security Office to ensure the new intake of MSPs have immediate access to our personal safety services.”