In recent months, Parliamentarians from all parties have reported a significant increase in abuse on social media. Sadly, I have seen this on my own accounts too, some of it from political activists who do not even live near Bracknell and some from local people who wilfully spread unnecessary toxicity. It is therefore necessary for me to implement a social media policy.
Since proudly being elected as the local MP in 2019, I have engaged regularly and freely with local people and it has been the privilege of my life to serve you. Thankfully, I have encountered goodwill right across Bracknell, Crowthorne, Finchampstead, Sandhurst, Wokingham Without and beyond, but I have been surprised at times by some of the vitriol that I have received on social media. Most of this is politically driven, opportunist, posted from anonymous accounts and deliberately intended to stoke the flames of hatred and division at a time when MPs are already facing enhanced danger.
With immediate effect, I have instructed my team to block anyone from my accounts who repeatedly posts abuse, negativity, falsehoods or defamation. Political discourse is fine and I will always engage with anyone who objectively seeks my opinion, help or to share ideas, but downright toxicity serves no purpose. As your MP, I live locally, I am in Bracknell constantly, hold weekly surgeries and I enjoy visiting schools, businesses, events and other activity as often as I can. My team has also responded to over 45,000 individual items of correspondence or casework so I am fully engaged locally all the time.
For those who justify their vitriol by claiming that I need to be ‘held to account’, I would simply urge you to write to me, email me or request a surgery in the normal manner - I would be very happy to meet you as required. But for those who continue to spread hatred, negativity, accusations and abuse on my own platforms to deliberately demonise me for political gain, I regret that you will be blocked.