MP Lee Scott: I cried over death threat
Lee Scott: needed police protection
A Jewish MP has described how he cried after being subjected to an antisemitic death threat while campaigning for re-election.
Tory Lee Scott said he needed police protection in his Ilford North constituency following the incident during the general election in 2010.
“I was going back to my car when I was approached by two people who called me a ‘dirty Jewish pig’ and said they were going to kill me. I legged it as fast as I could,” he said.
“I went home and I cried, not because someone had threatened me but because I felt that I loved my job and I was just not sure it was worth it for my family. It was a horrendous position. No candidate of any religion, race or sexuality should go through it.
“At the next hustings I turned up with two police officers for protection.”
Mr Scott, 57, was speaking at the first session of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Electoral Conduct. A panel of 12 cross-party MPs and peers was set up by Labour MP John Mann earlier this year to investigate misconduct during election campaigns, including incidents of racism and discrimination.
During the 2010 campaign, leaflets were distributed by an unnamed group branding Mr Scott an “enemy of Muslims”.
While campaigning, he said, a man approached him and made abusive, antisemitic comments. “He was holding a leaflet saying I was not favourable to Islam, which is not true. There was a picture of me in a skullcap which must have been taken in a synagogue.”
Police fitted a panic alarm at the MP’s home, and members of the Muslim community in his constituency put up banners supporting him.
The panel also heard evidence from Ukip secretary Michael Greaves. A number of Ukip candidates were ejected by the party ahead of the local elections earlier this month amid claims that they had made racist comments during their campaigns or had links with far-right groups.
Mr Greaves explained that the party was “ramping up” its selection procedures. “We have to do better,” he said.