July 12, 2017 / 4:02 PM / 2 months ago

May orders inquiry into intimidation of election candidates

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May ordered on Wednesday a review into reports that candidates in June’s parliamentary election suffered threats, bullying and harassment.

May asked the Committee on Standards in Public Life, a public body funded by the government, to consider whether candidates were adequately protected, especially in light of the rising use of social media, and recommend any changes necessary.

“I have been horrified by stories from colleagues about the scale and nature of the intimidation, bullying and harassment they suffered during the general election campaign,” May said in a statement.

The review was announced as lawmakers debated the subject in parliament after representatives from across the political spectrum spoke out about their experiences, which included sexist and racist abuse online, threats of violence, and damage to property.

“Robust debate is a vital part of our democracy, but there can be no place for the shocking threats and abuse we have seen in recent months,” May said.

Reporting by William James, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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