Pictured: The violent meme shared by budding Labour election candidate that shows a gun being pointed at Theresa May’s head
- Kate Osborne posted it on Facebook during the 2017 general election campaign
- Depicts the former prime minister wincing and being threatened with a weapon
- A list of ex-MPs campaigning for re-election have written to demand action
- Among those who have signed the letter are Jess Phillips and Yvette Cooper
Female members of the Labour party are demanding Kate Osborne is blocked as an election candidate for sharing an image of Theresa May with gun to her head.
Several of the party’s most senior female politicians are calling on party chiefs to block Jeremy Corbyn ally Osborne from standing after it emerged she shared the image.
Ms Osborne, who is expected to be parachuted into the safe seat of Jarrow near Newcastle, posted the concerning image on Facebook during the 2017 general election campaign.
It depicts the former prime minister wincing while being threatened with a weapon to stop saying the words ‘strong and stable’, according to the HuffPost.
Kate Osborne, who is expected to be parachuted into the safe seat of Jarrow, posted the concerning image (pictured) on Facebook during the 2017 general election campaign
Ms Osborne, who is a member of Unite the union’s executive council, apologised unreservedly, adding that as a woman she was ‘extremely concerned’ about the misogyny her colleagues received.
A list of ex-MPs campaigning for re-election have written to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee demanding action.
Among those who have signed the letter are Liz Kendall, Jess Phillips, Yvette Cooper, Lucy Powell, Cat Smith and Vicky Foxcroft.
Ms Osborne, (pictured) who is a member of Unite the union’s executive council, apologised unreservedly
The letter says: ‘The impact of such images are clear – they incite intimidation and violence against female politicians.
‘Many of our Labour colleagues – and indeed politicians from all political parties – have been subject to similar disturbing content online.
‘When women in public life are facing unacceptable levels of intimidation, sharing this image not only indicates an extreme lack of judgement, but further feeds into the cycle of abuse that we are all currently experiencing.
‘If Kate Osborne is selected, it would undermine any claim our party makes to stand resolutely against the harassment and intimidation of women in public life.’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Ms Osborne was ‘going through a process’ when asked about the letter during a visit to Leeds.
He said: ‘A panel will be conducted over the weekend to select a candidate for the Jarrow constituency and, no doubt, all those questions will be put to her as any question will be put to any of the candidates.’
The shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said posting the image was ‘unacceptable’ but said the decision on Ms Osborne’s future was up to the NEC.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Ms Rayner said: ‘As somebody who’s faced a level of abuse and death threats as a politician, I think a lot of people out there really don’t see the vitriol and the nastiness that’s online that’s pointed towards politicians at the moment.
‘So I think it’s totally unacceptable to share images like that.’
The shadow education secretary Angela Rayner (pictured) said posting the image was ‘unacceptable’ but said the decision on Ms Osborne’s future was up to the NEC
Ms Osborne told the HuffPost: ‘I shared an image on social media of a film parody poster making light of Theresa May’s forced and robotic statements about her ‘strong and stable government’ in the run-up to the 2017 general election.
‘I unreservedly apologise for having shared this image.
‘As a woman, I am extremely concerned about the abuse and threats that women in politics face and if elected I will work with colleagues to challenge misogyny, hate and division in politics and beyond.’
It comes alongside other Labour controversy as two hopefuls to become Labour MPs have been blocked from standing because of alleged anti-Semitic comments, while others have been criticised for social media comments.