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'Hate and vitriol' Conservative candidate Lana Hempsall is victim of social media attacks

PUBLISHED: 12:08 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:08 05 June 2017

Lana Hempsall, Conservative, speaks at the Norwich South election hustings, held at the City of Norwich School. From left, Richard Bearman, Green; James Wright, Liberal Democrat; and Clive Lewis, Labour. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lana Hempsall, Conservative, speaks at the Norwich South election hustings, held at the City of Norwich School. From left, Richard Bearman, Green; James Wright, Liberal Democrat; and Clive Lewis, Labour. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

A Conservative general election candidate has been the target of several social media attacks including footage of a man burning one of her campaign leaflets and calls for her death.

Lana Hempsall, the Conservative candidate for Norwich South, has spoken of the “hate and vitriol” expressed towards her on social media.

The first incident took place on May 20 in the comments section of a post made by Mrs Hempsall in the Facebook group, The Norwich Post.

Mrs Hempsall posted a video of a campaign visit to the Lakenham and Tuckswood area of Norwich, initially starting out as a political discussion, the comment section quickly became aggressive despite repeated requests from the group admin for those taking part in the discussion to review their comments.

Following one comment which called for Mrs Hempsall’s death, group administrators reported the incident to the police and subsequently prevented further comments from being made on the post.

Mrs Hempsall said: “The hate and vitriol was awful, some of it was moderated by the group admin.

“I have to be careful on Facebook, I have to moderate what I read quite considerably because of the abusive messages”

The second incident came on Saturday, June 3 when Mrs Hempsall was tagged in a video on Twitter of a young man burning one of her election campaign leaflets whilst making offensive comments towards the Conservative party.

“It’s completely unnecessary, I don’t know where that level of hatred comes from.”

When asked what she thought when she saw the posts, Mrs Hempsall said:“It makes me sad that people have to deal with these things in such an aggressive way.

“What is breaking down the barriers of a civilised society to the extent that people are making these comments”

“It is actually just a couple of people making these comments but once someone starts others start feeding off the bullying behaviour and jump on the bandwagon”

In a statement made on May 4 following the terror attack in London, the Prime Minster Theresa May called for an international agreement to “regulate cyberspace” citing the internet as creating ‘safe spaces’ for extremist ideology.

Norfolk Police have been contacted for an update on the case.

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