Bradford MP Naz Shah gets apology for 'horrendous' Leave.EU post

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Naz ShahImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
"I'm one of the most abused MPs on Twitter because of this allegation," Naz Shah MP said

Bradford West MP Naz Shah has received an apology and damages from a pro-Brexit group whose "horrendous" social media post left her facing death threats and abuse.

Ms Shah began libel action against Leave.EU after a Facebook post claimed she was a "grooming gangs apologist".

It has issued an apology that accepted Ms Shah was a "vociferous campaigner for victims of grooming gangs".

The Leave.EU statement said the post was "ill-judged and untrue".

It was taken down on the same day, 16 December 2019, it was published but had already been shared and commented on thousands of times on social media.

Ms Shah welcomed the apology but said the post had been copied numerous times and was still used to abuse her.

The Leave.EU statement said: "While the publication had been intended to be satirical; we appreciate that it was ill-judged and untrue.

"We accept that Ms Shah is not an 'apologist' for grooming gangs but is a vociferous campaigner for victims of grooming gangs.

"We apologise for the distress caused by it and have paid Ms Shah damages for libel."

The libellous comment was part of a post making fun of possible contenders to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader.

Ms Shah said: "The allegation of me being a grooming apologist has been horrendous.

"The fact they've accepted that I'm a vociferous campaigner against grooming is important to me."

Ms Shah said the post hurt because she had never "shied away" from the grooming gangs issue and was campaigning against it before she was elected an MP in 2015.

She said: "Islamic communities are absolutely appalled by it [child sexual exploitation]. People I talk to are appalled by it.

Ms Shah "wanted to draw a line under it and get on", although she continues to receive offensive messages daily, she added.

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