A York solicitor has apologised after his social media post left an MP and his family ‘deeply upset’.
Andrew Lindsay, a corporate lawyer at Morton Legal on Tadcaster Road, said Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald should be “dragged through the streets of Teesside and lynched” if he was found to have wrongly raised concerns about a scheme in his constituency.
Mr McDonald had used parliamentary privilege to allege “truly shocking, industrial-scale corruption” relating to funding in Teesside.
Communities Secretary Michael Gove later ordered an independent probe into the Teesside scheme.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr McDonald said: “Last week, a senior corporate lawyer Andrew Lindsay, posted on his LinkedIn account that if it turns out that the inquiry concludes there is nothing to be seen here and, in the meantime, some investment, and jobs are lost, local Labour MP Andy McDonald should be dragged through the streets of Teesside and lynched.”
He added: “This has deeply upset and alarmed my family and me.”
Mr McDonald raised the murders of MPs Jo Cox, Sir David Amess, and Nigel Jones’ personal aide Andrew Pennington, and asked what more could be done “to ensure that the legitimate debate on such matters of significance to our constituents does not spill over in such a manner that makes the appalling comments of the likes of Mr Lindsay increasingly more likely”.
The Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle replied: “People are entitled to make their views known inside and outside this House but threats to members are very real, and those who comment should consider the potential effects of their words before posting rather than afterwards.”
Mr Lindsay, who also runs his own legal consultancy Representation UK and is a former chair of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said he didn’t intend for his words to be taken literally.
Asked about Mr McDonald’s comments in the Commons, Mr Lindsay said: “I did, in fact, delete my post when I was alerted to the fact that Mr McDonald had been upset by it and I subsequently wrote to him to confirm that the comments I made were not to be taken literally.
“Indeed, I do not condone any violence by anyone, on anyone.
“I also accept that the language I used was injudicious, which was why I apologised to Mr McDonald.
“Even though the words I used are not unique to me and might be somewhat familiar to certain others, I accepted, on reflection that we are living in times when we have to be increasingly careful about what we say.”
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