Belfast Telegraph

Former UUP MLA Jenny Palmer reports online abuse to PSNI over Assembly election result

Ulster Unionist Jenny Palmer has said she won't be deterred after she called in police after coming under sustained attack on social media over her Assembly election result.

The former DUP member switched to the UUP in 2015 along with her husband John.

She lost her Stormont seat in Lagan Valley last week.

Mrs Palmer took to Twitter on Monday night saying she was feeling "vulnerable" folllowing the abuse. She said:  "Sad some threaten democracy in ignorance.

"Thanks to PSNI for their support. Family 1st."

She defected to the UUP following the Red Sky scandal after claiming she had been bullied.

She won a seat for the UUP in Lagan Valley at the last election, but lost out this time round.

In a statement she said: “Despite this act of intimidation, I have no intention of deserting the people of Lagan Valley. There is still much work to be done.

"I have given a statement to the PSNI about this behaviour.

“It has boosted my resolve to remain in politics and campaign for tougher laws to bring these ‘internet trolls’ before the courts. I firmly believe the entire community would benefit from tougher protection against these cyber bullies.

“I will continue in frontline politics, assisting my husband, Councillor John Palmer, and my Ulster Unionist colleagues as we continue to work as a team to make life better for all the constituents of Lagan Valley. I would also like to thank all those who voted for me and have continued to send me messages of support, and congratulate Robbie Butler on his election.”

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn said the "online bullying and vile threats" cannot be tolerated.

Mr Lunn said: “No-one should have to put up with online trolling and abuse.

“Jenny stood for re-election on a peaceful platform, while those behind these messages only aim to distract from our democratic process.

“Elected representatives must take a strong stance against all forms of intimidation.  Jenny has been an excellent public representative for many years and does not deserve this kind of treatment.”

UUP MP for South Antrim Danny Kinahan said he was "disgusted" by the intimidation.

UUP Assembly member Robin Swann said she had been the victim of sustained attack on social media over her election result.

"I would actually ask those other politicians who have stoked up that anger to take a minute of time and reflect and possibly call on those who are attacking Jenny and John at this minute in time to take a step back and reflect on those comments."

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