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SDLP candidate tells of threats while out canvassing

By Allan Preston

An SDLP candidate has hit out at a "vicious" campaign of abuse against him and party colleagues who are on the election trail.

Daniel McCrossan, SDLP candidate for West Tyrone, said he had endured "brutal" online abuse after taking a week off to deal with the death of his grandfather.

"My car's been followed, with photos of it posted online which is a bit of a danger for me being on the policing board," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"Activists from other campaigns have called me a scumbag and said they would 'deal with me in the way that they see fit.' It's been very nasty."

He added that one of his female campaigners had been verbally abused in Castlederg while out canvassing.

Speaking about his grandfather, he said: "It was very sudden and a big shock, he was a young granddad. The abuse I was taking on social media was real brutal stuff.

"I wasn't going to say anything but last week was the tipping point. We were in a shop while out canvassing and this bald headed guy was really forceful and intimidating, looking for a reaction out of me which he didn't get. He said we would get our comeuppance and his words were, 'We have a way of dealing with boys like you'.

"It's not the type of thing you expect when you're out knocking doors.

"My concern isn't so much for my safety, it's what I signed up to. But I will not allow any of my staff or volunteers to be verbally abused in any way."

Independent candidate for West Tyrone Susan Anne White has also reported receiving online abuse this year including a death threat on social media.

"I don't condone death threats against anybody," said Mr McCrossan.

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