Blog: Violent threats against MPs put lives and democracy at risk


Catherine Anderson, CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation, outlines how the current culture of violence in public life is a risk to both our democracy and the lives of our politicians. 

A film of British soldiers peppering an image of Jeremy Corbyn’s head with bullets under the caption ‘happy with that’ would be horrendous at any time. On the day the leader of the opposition sat down with the prime minister to discuss our nation’s future, it was all the more offensive.

It makes no difference whether the troops were using simulation weapons or not. Equally, their political beliefs are beside the point. Because it is abusive and intimidating behaviour like this that can lead to tragedies such as Jo’s murder. Yes, it is right that our political leaders are subject to fierce criticism. That is part of strong, democratic debate, but the recent catalogue of attacks on politicians is of a different order.

Only on Wednesday, thanks to the courage of an undercover whistle-blower, we know of the plot by an extreme right-wing nationalist to murder MP Rosie Cooper. The murder of Jo Cox three years ago should remind us every day that violent language and hate-filled sentiments can never be dismissed as harmless. They are not.

Read the full blog here.