The senior MP who led the Tory rebellion over Brexit has admitted receiving death threats as a result of his position as he criticised the Daily Mail’s reporting of the vote.
Dominic Grieve, the ex-Attorney General who led 10 fellow Conservatives to vote against Theresa May to give parliament a “meaningful” vote on the Brexit deal, warned of a “febrile” atmosphere that meant detail of the debate was being overlooked, and that it meant any questions raised about quitting the EU was deemed “sabotage”.
The MP told the Guardian this results in “some people expressing themselves in terms that at times include death threats”, and that he had death threats via voicemail and email.
He added: “The form of reporting that the Daily Mail adopts is an incitement to obscuring what the issues actually are. That then adds to the atmosphere.”
The Mail was accused of putting MPs at risk of abuse after it slammed the Tory rebels as “self-consumed malcontents” on its front page, asking: “Proud of yourselves?”
The government was narrowly defeated in a key vote on its Brexit bill last night after a group of Conservatives sided with the opposition and voted in favour of giving MPs a meaningful vote of the exit deal agreed with Brussels.
According to the newspaper, the Tory rebels, which also included Anna Soubry, and Nicky Morgan, have betrayed “their leader, party and 17.4 million Brexit voters”.
Splashing the photos of the MPs across its front page, the Daily Mail lambasted the group for pulling the rug from underneath EU negotiators and increasing the possibility of a “Marxist in No.10″.
Critics condemned the story as “outrageous and irresponsible”, calling the treatment of the rebel MPs “bullying”.
A spokesperson for the Daily Mail said the accusations were “preposterous”.
“Is it now being suggested that because the Mail supports the British public’s decision to leave the EU it should be forbidden to report debates in Parliament?”
Many of the MPs featured in the splash have hit back at the story, with Soubry agreeing that she is indeed proud of her decision to rebel.
“We put our country first exerting British principles of democracy and free speech,” she rebuffed. “You should try it some time.”