Tory Brexit Rebel: Right Wing Press Are Damaging Our Democracy

16 December 2017, 11:47

The "vitriolic hatred" stirred up by the Brexit press is blocking rational, informed debate and incited the murder of Jo Cox, Dominic Grieve said.

Since rebelling against the government and inflicting Theresa May's first Brexit commons defeat, Dominic Grieve has received four death threats.

He has faced calls for his deselection from Nadine Dorries, a Conservative colleague, who accused him of "treachery."

MP Grieve confirmed deselection proceedings had not begun against him but slammed the language that was being normalised by some newspapers.

Citing the Daily Mail's attack on the judiciary during the Article 50 case and Gina Miller's new-found need for personal protection, the rebel leader argued that vitriolic hatred whipped up by the press was harming rational debate.

As well as the four death threats he said he had received thousands of emails, some of which were "grossly offensive."

He laid the blame with the "vitriolic abuse" whipped up by "certain national newspapers" when any attempt to question the detail of Brexit is immediately labelled as sabotage.

Grieve said: "I'm afraid there's been a trend in this direction, it does seem to centre around the divisions that exist in this country on Brexit.

"There are deep differences of view. We saw it when the Daily Mail launched its vitriolic attack on the judiciary during the Article 50 case.

"We saw it with the case of Mrs Miller and she received appalling, sustained death threats as a result of the sort of abuse that was being whipped up in the newspapers.

"I think this absolutely represents a point in our democracy we need to be careful about.

"We also can't ignore the fact my colleague Jo Cox was murdered during the Brexit referendum.

"While clearly that was the act of a deeply evil individual, we can't ignore the fact this was all part of a surrounding frenzy, which I'm afraid has the capacity of inciting people who are evil or mad to doing bad things.

"As sensible citizens we all have to try to keep debate moderate, courteous and polite.

"Of course you can express your disagreement with people, in strong terms, but there is a difference between that and utterly ignoring their integrity and constantly that they've got a subversive motive, these people are traitors - which I've had plenty of in the last three days."

Watch the interview at the top of this page.

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