Lanark councillor: "It's not only Tory MPs who get threatened"

Clydesdale North councillor Julia Marrs says she has suffered similar abuse to that directed last week at anti-Brexit MP Anna Soubry
Clydesdale North councillor Julia Marrs says she has suffered similar abuse to that directed last week at anti-Brexit MP Anna Soubry

Lanark area SNP councillor Julia Marrs hardly ever agrees with UK Conservative MPs - but she found herself sympathising with anti-Brexit Tory Anna Subry last week.

There was an outcry when the English politician was verbally abused outside Westminster by a group of Brexiteer demonstators.

Ms Marrs has been through very similar experiences herself, she revealed to constituents via Facebook this week.

She said: “I’m no stranger to protesting and would defend anyone’s right to peaceful protest, the people being sovereign. But I find the abuse of Anna Soubry deeply concerning.

“Politics aside, people might not like policies, might disagree vehementlywith them and I’m obviously no fan of Tory policy but when putting your point of view tips over into placing people in fear, that is wrong. I know it’s wrong because I’ve experienced it and gone home rattled and upset after incidents.

“Councillors work alone and we do our best to stay safe. It’s not for nothing I don’t do evening surgeries anymore, choosing daytime when there is more people around, and I never meet constituents unless in a public place, in the hope of less chance of danger.

“I’ve been shouted at by constituents, sometimes when I have had my children with me, had to leave a park with my children before a situation escalated, had to call the police to my surgery to a suicide risk who could have turned violent. I had someone mime pointing a gun at me.

“None of this is acceptable, politicians face it regularly and often do not take things further, but I do not accept that it is part of the job, I should not be expected to just take this. I am a person like everyone else and I should be able to go out with my children safely.

“The bottom line is if I behaved in a similar way to constituents, would they just accept it? Quite rightly, I suspect not, and I would very likely and very rightly face discipline, if not the law.”