A Labour MP claimed to have reported Twitter user Stop the EU to parliamentary authorities and the police for criticising a Remain-supporting Tory MP — but the Speaker’s Office, the Metropolitan Police, and his local force all deny having received any such report.
Remain-supporting Barry Sheerman, 78, leapt to the defence of Anna Soubry, 61, when a grassroots Brexit activist took the Tory MP to task for campaigning to overturn or at least rerun the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
“Anna Soubry actively working on behalf of a foreign power & against the biggest democratic mandate in British history. Anna has no respect for her constituents [or] the manifesto pledge to Leave on which she stood [in 2017],” he wrote, in reference to the fact Soubry’s constituency of Broxtowe backed Brexit.
Sheerman, while nominally an opponent of Tory Remainer Soubry as a member of the Labour opposition, publicly boasted that he had “reported this tweet to the Speaker of the House ofCommons [sic] & to the police” — although he did not elaborate on which law he believed Stop the EU had broken by criticising the MP.
Despite the claim, the Speaker’s Office, the Metropolitan Police, and West Yorkshire Police, which covers Sheerman’s parliamentary constituency, all told Breitbart London they have received no such reports.
Breitbart London has contacted the Huddersfield MP to clarify his position, but no reply has been received as of time of publication.
Sheerman himself is no stranger to harsh words in online spats, having used Twitter to denigrate Scottish Tories Michael Gove and Ruth Davidson as “conspirators” and insult Brexit-supporting backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg as “odious” and “slithering”.
He has been even more scathing of journalists he takes issue with, publicly excoriating them as “scum of the earth”.
Twitter user Stop the EU, for his part, seemed unfazed by the Labour MP’s antics, replying to his announcement of reports to the Commons speaker and the police by tweeting: “While you’re there Baz, can you report yourself for stupidity[?]”
Hundreds of other Twitter users were less amused, however, accusing Sheerman of, at best, wasting police time, and, at worst, attempting to use state power to silence criticism of politicians.
“You should be charged with wasting police time. What you’re actually advocating is a complete cessation of any exchange/debate you personally disagree with on Twitter with the threat of police action,” tweeted one. “Honestly what a complete coward you are. Feel free to report me to the police.”
“Are you actually insane? What possible grounds could there be for reporting this tweet to the police? ‘Officer, help! Someone disagreed with a Tory on Twitter!'” added another user.
“I don’t agree with the politics of @Stop_The_EU but what exactly have they done that requires police intervention?” chimed in yet another commentator. “They are simply stating what they think about an elected MP, as is their right.”