Priti Patel considering removing right to anonymity on social media to stop ‘relentless' abuse of MPs

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Home secretary Priti Patel has said she could remove the right to anonymity on social media in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess, to stop the “cruel and relentless” abuse of MPs and others.

© Independent Breaking News

Ms Patel said that she and many other MPs had suffered “appalling” online attacks and warned: “We can’t carry on like this.”

She said she wanted to make “big changes” to the law to deal with the problem, and made clear a ban on anonymous posts was being considered.

Asked on Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday what could be done to tackle the coarsening of political debate in the UK, Ms Patel replied:  “This is about wider public discourse and I would go as far to say social media and anonymity on social media, where Members of Parliament are the subject of some of the most cruel comments and attacks, and they are relentless.

“I’ve seen my colleagues go through some of the most appalling attacks online, and I have as well.”

Asked whether she could introduce legislation to remove the right to online anonymity, she replied: “I want us to look at everything and there is work taking place already.

“We’ve got an Online Harms Bill that will come to parliament. There’s work taking place on it right now.

“I’ve done a lot of work on the social media platforms, mainly around encryption and areas of that nature.

“But we can’t carry on like this. I spend too much time with communities who have been under attack, who’ve had all sorts of postings put online and it’s a struggle to get those postings taken down. We want to make some big changes on that.”

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