North East fascists threaten Diane Abbott

Sarah Archibald - 20 02 17
Bishop Auckland’s Wayne Knight

In an interview with The Guardian yesterday Diane Abbott told of the horrific abuse she endures on social media. Such is the nature and intensity of the hatred, the shadow home secretary admitted that her staff try and stop her walking her constituency alone. They recall only too well the tragic murder of Jo Cox last year by far right activist Thomas Mair.

Within hours of that interview appearing two North East far right activists took to Facebook to wish death on the long-serving Labour MP.

Wayne Knight, who leads tiny splinter group Bishop Auckland Against Islam (BAAI), said Abbott “needed a bullet.” Former Newcastle English Defence League (EDL) member, Darren Hurst, then upped the ante. Hurst, who now supports the North East Infidels (NEI), wrote”Behead the c*nt. Put her head on a stick.”

It’s a sad fact that people like Knight and Hurst think not only that this kind of behaviour is acceptable – but that they’ll get away with it. That mentality probably explains why Birmingham MP Jess Phillips reportedly received no fewer than 600 threats of rape in a single night, courtesy of Twitter.

There have been some notable prosecutions, most recently of John Nimmo. Nimmo, who like Knight and Hurst also hails from the North East, is now serving 27 months following a campaign of anti-Semitic abuse directed at yet another female Labour MP, Luciana Berger.

But it remains a sad fact that many such trolls escape justice. Our hope though is that the Durham and Northumbria police forces take swift and effective action against Knight and Hurst respectively.

As Abbott told The Guardian: “When Jo Cox died, obviously my first thought was for her husband and children and friends and family and the people of Batley and Spen who lost a tremendous MP, but I also thought maybe you can’t shrug off these death threats any more. Maybe something could happen.”

No-one should have to live with that fear. The only way it can be addressed is by the criminal justice system. Let’s hope we see a greater willingness to investigate and charge those responsible.

Newcastle Darren Hurst aka Dazza King.


Hurst in his EDL days.


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