A box of faeces has been left outside a Conservative MP’s constituency office, reportedly sparking a police investigation.
Siobhan Baillie condemned the “nastiness” on Monday after the item was found by her workplace in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
“There are plenty of ways to make a point about politics or governments without resorting to putting excrement in a box,” she said.
“Because of the nastiness we face, many decent people are thinking twice about standing for public office.”
There are plenty of ways to make a point about politics or governments without resorting to putting excrement in a box. Because of the nastiness we face, many decent people are thinking twice about standing for public office. https://t.co/zkaUcMVQdq
— Siobhan Baillie MP (@Siobhan_Baillie) November 7, 2022
The box, which is said to have included a derogatory note written on the inside, reportedly prompted an investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary.
The BBC quoted a spokesperson for the force as saying: “We are investigating an allegation of harassment after an offensive item was left outside Ms Baillie’s constituency office.”
Staff for Ms Baillie, who has been MP for Stroud since 2019, said she was previously targeted after taking maternity leave following the birth of her daughter.
One person wrote to her constituency office expressing their anger at the Dominic Cummings scandal in 2020, and demanding a response from her.
Her leave roughly coincided with the fallout from Mr Cummings – then the chief adviser to Boris Johnson – travelling from London to County Durham during a Covid lockdown.
“Why will my MP not respond to me, given the gravity of the Cummings affair and the impact this is having of public trust. I don’t care that she has just given birth,” the person wrote.
Another said: “I asked for Siobhan’s viewpoint. I WANT SIOBHAN’s. Having a baby in not an excuse for not responding to my email.”
One constituent described Ms Baillie being on maternity leave as a “dereliction of duty”.
Harriet Butcher, Ms Baillie’s then senior parliamentary assistant, said at the time: “Sadly, Siobhan has received unpleasant emails, the vast majority from men who seem to think the 2010 Equality Act does not apply to a woman because she is an MP.
“It does apply and Siobhan has an absolute right enshrined in law to take maternity leave.
“Presently, it is her intention to do so for a minimum of four weeks, which is considerably less than she is legally entitled to.”
Ms Baillie and Gloucestershire Constabulary have been contacted for comment.