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The targeting, abuse, harassment of elected Conservative women has happened for years. Enough.

Conservative women and particularly elected female Conservative politicians have been disproportionately and aggressively targeted over many years by online political activists, especially by those on the far right. Our female colleagues in Portsmouth are no exception.

Paulsgrove Cllrs Jo Hooper and Gemma New as well former City Councillor Donna Jones and our city MP Penny Mordaunt have all been subjected to horrendous campaigns of hate that are so serious that they have ended up being reported to the Police. Those responsible for this sickening abuse are almost always men.

No elected councillor should feel unsafe engaging in democracy or politics should be subjected to this appalling abuse for carrying out their duties in a manner befitting an elected member.

Their crime? Simply being strong Conservative women.

Calling for them to be attacked, egged or threatened in any way for being elected and simply getting on with the business of representing their residents and city, the job they were elected on do, is just plain wrong.

That so much of this has hateful behaviour has been propagated by opposition candidates and their supporters isn't anything new, and for the most part, as Conservatives, we are able to rise above it. But they shouldn’t have to! But worse still, those who propagate or enable any kind of abuse are cowardly and as we've seen, are very adept at acting like professional victims when their heinous actions are called out. There is a limit to what abuse and treatment people can endure and enough is enough!.

Often, the truth hurts weaker men. But we will not be cowed or intimidated into ignoring blatant mistruths about our elected female councillors (and indeed any female), that are deliberately aimed at causing hurt and upset to our elected female councillors and their families all in the name of cruel sport and “fun”.

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