Ed Miliband speaks out aganst ‘vile’ abuse targeting Luciana Berger

Ed Miliband speaks out aganst ‘vile’ abuse targeting Luciana Berger

Ed Miliband has urged social media companies to do more to clamp down on anti-Semitism as he spoke out for the first time against the “vile” abuse targeting MP Luciana Berger.

The shadow minister has received hundreds of anti-Semitic messages on Twitter over the past 10 days since the conviction and jailing of one troll, Garron Helm, for an online message he sent featuring an image of a yellow Star on the MP’s forehead.

Shadow Health Minister Luciana Berger.
Shadow Health Minister Luciana Berger.

It was believed to be the first prosecution for anti-Semitism on the micro-blogging site and was heralded as a new weapon in the battle against online racism.

But Berger has since fallen victim to an orchestrated campaign of hate, with a far-right website in the United States providing suggestions of racist hashtags and messages. She has also received death threats.

Ed Miliband said: “The anti-Semitic abuse that Luciana Berger has experienced over recent days is utterly appalling and has absolutely no place in our country. We must have no tolerance for this vile and abusive behaviour wherever we find it.

“The last Labour government passed laws to stop incitement to racial hatred – it is right that those laws are enforced to the fullest possible extent by the police and crown prosecution service.

“I would also urge social media companies to do more to proactively take down such vile abuse where there is clear evidence of an orchestrated campaign of incitement.”

A number of top Labour politicians and officials – including Chuka Ummana and Lord wood – have spoken out against the abuse and hailed Berger’s contribution in recent days.

John Mann, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism has led the push for Twitter to take action and he has secured a debate in Parliament on the issue of social media next Tuesday.

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