POLITICAL rivals from across the floor of the Commons have joined forces to launch a campaign to set public debate on a better path.

Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq and former Health Secretary Matt Hancock aim to tackle online abuse and de-toxify political debate in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess.  

Ms Huq, who was widely praised for her call to be ‘less cross and more cross-party’ during the concluding Commons tribute to Sir David, said: “The assassination of my kind friend and colleague has demonstrated the dangers of a coarsening political debate.

“That’s why Matt and I have got together to campaign on this, despite our many political differences. There is too much rancour online and offline.”        

LISTEN: Rupa Huq’s tribute to Sir David Amess https://youtu.be/MLIZSgKvjso

She said the onus was on parliamentarians to set an example.

“Of course we should have robust debates,” added Ms Huq, “but when that tips into abuse, we are doing ourselves no favours and we are giving Twitter trolls licence to behave in kind.” 

Mr Hancock, who stepped down as Health Secretary in June, added he had been on the receiving end of a huge amount of abuse in the wake of his departure.

The pair are in discussions to produce a cross-party pamphlet on the importance of civility in British politics.     

Research by Compassion in Politics suggests the public is in agreement, with 75 per cent of those polled in favour of ending banning, booing and jeering in parliamentary debates