1. ITV Report

MP faces 'sexist bigotry' on Twitter over Murdoch stance

Louise Mensch, MP, at the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Photo:

The MP who was outspoken in her defence of Rupert Murdoch during report from MPs last week has received a barrage of "sexual insults and slurs."

Louise Mensch took the lead as Conservative party members of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee withheld support for the claim that Mr Murdoch was not a "fit person" to head a major international company:

Ms Mensch has received abusive messages on Twitter as a result of her defence of the way she and her colleagues on the committee voted.

Insults levelled at the at the MP have included "whore", "bitch" and one message said "given half the chance, you'd strangle her".

She has hit out at the abuse and highlighted the offensive messages on Twitter.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Mensch, an author who was elected as MP for Corby in 2010, said:

Abuse directed at women is always sexual or violent.

If somebody is considered attractive, it's a sexual and violent fantasy levelled against them. If someone is considered unattractive, it's personal remarks about their body.

The stuff directed at me was not illegal, it was just immoral and misogynistic.

The outspoken MP said she did not blame the social networking site but those who were posting the messages on it:

It really is just a matter of calling bullies out. I also just want to say it's not Twitter's fault, Twitter provides a social media platform.

It's the fault of the users, they have to be responsible for their own words and what they say

Cumbria Police chief constable Stuart Hyde, has national responsibility with the Association of Chief Police Officers for e-crime, he said, "I have read the comments made about Louise and it is sexist bigotry at its worst."

Some of the comments were "pretty horrendous" and could be illegal, he said.

There is quite a bit of legislation available to us - the Communications Act 2003, the Malicious Communications Act back in 1988 talks about offences of communications with an intent to cause distress, anxiety or are grossly offensive.

– Cumbria Police chief constable Stuart Hyde

Ms Mensch has had support from across the Commons: