The granddaughter of Tony Benn has said she is considering leaving Labour following online trolling over her stance on anti-Semitism in the party.
In comments published by The Times, Emily Benn said she was “questioning” her membership, adding “that is not something I ever thought I’d say, and not something I ever thought I’d feel.”
The 28-year-old has been faced with a high level of online abuse after speaking out on the controversy, and has called on Jeremy Corbyn to publicly condemn “unacceptable” behaviour against a fellow Labour member.
You knew my Grandfather very well – and as such knew that he would never have dreamed of resorting to such personal abuse. Thank You
— Emily Benn (@Emily_Benn) 25 August 2018
“The sheer level of personal abuse I’m now receiving from your supporters (many in your name) is simply unacceptable,” she tweeted to Mr Corbyn.
“You knew my Grandfather very well – and as such knew that he would never have dreamed of resorting to such personal abuse.”
Ms Benn spoke last month to Sky News about the abuse she has received.
She said trolls had had told her they hoped she would get cancer, and said her grandfather Tony Benn – a leading socialist figure in the Labour Party- would be “turning in his grave”.
She urged Mr Corbyn to show “real leadership” and address the trolling “being done in his name”.
The Labour leader last month acknowledged a problem in the party saying: “People who use anti-Semitic poison need to understand you do not do it in my name or the name of my party… It is my responsibility to root out anti-Semitism”.
But Ms Benn, a Labour activist who has stood twice as a Parliamentary candidate, has made clear she does not think Mr Corbyn’s statements adequate – and is one of several leading Labour figures to threaten departure as a result.
Former minister Frank Field, who last month suffered a vote of no confidence in his Birkenhead constituency, resigned the Labour whip on Friday and said he was considering standing for by-election as an independent.
Hours later, MP for Ilford South Mike Gapes told the Evening Standard he was considering leaving the party, telling the paper he felt “tainted and sickened” by the scandal.
And John Mann MP told Sky News that other MPs may consider leaving in the coming days and weeks unless what he said was “the racism, the bullying and the intimidation of the extremists” was stopped.
Speaking last month, Ms Benn said: “It has become an increasingly frequent act of people online that the minute you say anything that disagrees with Jeremy Corbyn you immediately are called a traitor.
“Online, especially, the Labour Party is an increasingly intolerant and unfriendly place to be.”