Language, Stevie

According to the New Statesman, when the new UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell, sat in the spot in the Commons normally occupied by Steve Rotheram, the Walton MP said to him “Eff off out of my seat.”

Does Mr Rotheram not know that it is an offence under Sections 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 to use “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour” within the hearing or sight of someone who could feel harassed of threatened by them?

When a town councillor, one of my constituents was convicted under this provision simply for saying to the police “Don’t come near me, I’m a ninja.” Equally, Internet troll Liam Stacey was convicted under this Act for saying racist remarks on Twitter.

Why does Steve Rotheram appear to think the law offline should be more lenient than online, and members of parliament should get less stern treatment than anyone else?

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