MP reveals Murdoch decision abuse

Tory MP Louise Mensch has hit out at the "sexual insults and slurs" aimed at her over the decision not to back a select committee's criticism of media baron Rupert Murdoch.

Conservative members of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee did not support the report's conclusion that Mr Murdoch was not a "fit person" to head a major international company.

Ms Mensch has been subjected to a barrage of abusive messages on Twitter as a result of her decision and media appearances defending the way her colleagues on the committee voted. Insults aimed at the MP have included "whore", "bitch" and one message said "given half the chance, you'd strangle her".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Mensch, an author who was elected as MP for Corby in 2010, said: "Abuse directed at women is always sexual or violent.

"If somebody is considered attractive, it's a sexual and violent fantasy levelled against them. If someone is considered unattractive, it's personal remarks about their body." She added: "The stuff directed at me was not illegal, it was just immoral and misogynistic."

Explaining why she had collated the messages for others to see, she said: "It really is just a matter of calling bullies out. I also just want to say it's not Twitter's fault, Twitter provides a social media platform.

"It's the fault of the users, they have to be responsible for their own words and what they say."

Cumbria Police chief constable Stuart Hyde, who has national responsibility with the Association of Chief Police Officers for e-crime, said: "I have read the comments made about Louise and it is sexist bigotry at its worst."

Some of the comments were "pretty horrendous" and could be illegal, he said.

"There is quite a bit of legislation available to us - the Communications Act 2003, the Malicious Communications Act back in 1988 talks about offences of communications with an intent to cause distress, anxiety or are grossly offensive. And clearly some of this is either in or very close to that border."

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