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UK: Lloyd Russell-Moyle: Labour frontbencher steps down over ‘torrent of online hate’ after JK Rowling row

Russell-Moyle said his position had become 'untenable' owing to a 'campaign by right-wing media'

Russell-Moyle said his position had become ‘untenable’ owing to a ‘campaign by right-wing media’ ( AFP/Getty Images )

Labour frontbencher Lloyd Russell-Moylehas stepped down from the shadow cabinet after saying he had been the victim of a “torrent of online hate”.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the MP for Brighton Kempton and Peacehaven said his position had become untenable “owing to a campaign by the right-wing media”.

Mr Russell-Moyle was recently forced to apologise after accusing author JK Rowlingof using her experience of sexual assault as “justification” for discriminating against trans people.

The MP was sharply criticised for suggesting Rowling ‘used her own sexual assault as justification’ for discriminating against trans people (Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

He wrote: “It is with regret that I leave the shadow ministry, but owing to a campaign by the right-wing media my position has become untenable.

“This has unleashed a torrent of online hate and daily calls of harassment to my office, which has exposed those who work for me to abuse that would not be acceptable in any workplace.

“It is my job to get political flack, but it is not the job of caseworkers, researchers and assistants to be attacked.

“It has also led to hounding and stress, from which I need a few weeks to support my team and myself to collectively recover.”

The minister made a public apology to the Harry Potter author last month after he wrote a piece in the Tribune saying he felt she had used her past experience to undermine efforts to secure rights for trans people.

Rowling has become a target of online activists following a string of social media posts in which she voiced her concerns about transgender rights and single sex spaces.

— full story ES