MP Catherine responds to online abuse inquiry findings

Commenting on today’s publication of the report by Parliament’s Petitions Committee, ‘Online abuse and the experience of disabled people’, Committee member and Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, said:

‘It’s clear from some of the appalling evidence the Committee received that the Government – and social media companies – must do much more both to support disabled people who are the victims of online abuse and hatred, and to prevent people using social media as a platform through which to target and then exploit people with disabilities.

‘I’m particularly concerned about how this affects people with learning disabilities, and the issues of so-called ‘mate crime’ and disability hate crime are ones I’ve been campaigning on for some time now, following the horrendous abuse and murder of my constituent Lee Irving. I firmly believe the law needs tightening up in this area, if we are to truly demonstrate that crimes committed against people because of their disabilities are totally unacceptable in any civilised society.

‘The Petitions Committee have made a number of really powerful draft recommendations following our inquiry, and I’m looking forward to hearing the views of more disabled people from around the country, as part of the public consultation on our findings.’