We work to promote respect and civility, inspire women and young people, and work across political divides.
Jo was renowned for her ability to forge cross-party relationships and to work collaboratively with those of opposing political views. Her murder is a tragic and unavoidable reminder of the dangers of a divisive public life and discourse.
Intimidation and abuse continues to be experienced by individuals across public life, from all groups and across the political spectrum. Candidates who are female, BAME or LGBT are disproportionately targeted in terms of scale, intensity and vitriol.
Addressing this intimidatory, bullying and abusive culture matters. It matters for the diversity of our public life, it matters for the way in which the public can engage with representative democracy, and it matters for the freedom to discuss and debate issues and interests.
We work to bring about a meaningful reduction in the intimidation and abuse in public life, raising widespread public awareness about its harmful impacts and working with partners to find tangible solutions. Specifically, we are currently working with the Committee on Standards in Public Life on a Joint Standard of Conduct, which will set out the minimum standards of behaviour expected from all political party members. Read more here.
Standing up to Hate Online
The widespread use of social media has been the most significant factor accelerating and enabling intimidatory behaviour in recent years. Although social media helps to promote widespread access to ideas and engagement in debate, it also creates an intensely hostile online environment.
In 2018, the Intimidation in Public Life report published by the Committee on Standards in Public Life found that…
- 56% of candidates surveyed are concerned about abuse and intimidation, and 31% say they are fearful
- No female MP who was active on Twitter has been free from online intimidation
- Black and Asian women MPs – despite representing only 11% of all women in Westminster – received 35% more abusive tweets than white women MPs