A prominent former Sikh Labour MP is among a number of ethnic-minority politicians who have revealed how they face racist abuse during election campaigns.
Parmjit Dhanda was reported as saying that his family was shocked to find that someone had left a pig’s severed head outside his house. The incident happened after the last general election in 2010 in which he lost his seat.
Mr. Dhanda told an all-party parliamentary committee, inquiring into racial prejudice during elections, that his children found the pig’s head on the front driveway of their house while they were playing. According to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Mr. Dhanda was regularly reminded of his Sikh heritage and received racially abusive phone calls during the night,
“We set up this inquiry to see whether prejudice and discrimination during elections was a problem and I have been shocked to discover the extent of it and how extreme some of it is,” Natascha Engel, the Labour chair of the committee, told The Sunday Times.
A leading Afro-Caribbean Labour MP, David Lammy, said he received about two racist letters a month. He had also received a death threat on Twitter.
“I get letters from far-right groups and I have a very, very nasty tweet that said ‘I am going to kill you’. It was very threatening because it referred to where I live and my family,” he said.
A Jewish Tory MP, Lee Scott, said he had a panic button installed at his home after being confronted by young men who threatened to kill him.
“I was going back to my car when I was approached. They called me a dirty Jewish pig and said they were going to kill me,” he said.
Former Labour MP, Andrew Dismore, told the inquiry that he was targeted by Muslim groups who set up fake Twitter accounts in his name.