Police visit over Ukip policy tweet

Police visited a blogger regarding a series of tweets relating to Ukip policy

Police visited a blogger regarding a series of tweets relating to Ukip policy

First published in National News © by

A blogger has raised concerns over freedom of speech after being visiting by police after tweeting "fact checks" about Ukip policies.

Michael Abberton, a Green party member, was visited at his home by two Cambridgeshire Police officers on Saturday after a series of tweets in which he claimed to be verifying the truth behind claims made by Ukip.

He was told he had not committed any crimes and no police action was taken, but a complaint had been made by a Ukip member.

In his blog, Axe of Reason, Mr Abberton said he was advised to delete some of the Twitter posts.

He wrote: "They asked me to 'take it down' but I said I couldn't do that as it had already been retweeted and appropriated, copied, many times and I no longer had any control of it.

"I'd like to be absolutely clear - the police officers were extremely professional and polite and I couldn't fault their behaviour in any way.

"But it wasn't until after they left that I questioned why they had visited me in the first place.

"Why would a political party, so close to an election, seek to stop people finding out what their policies are or their past voting record? And is it not a matter for concern that a political party would seek to silence dissent and debate in such a manner?"

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed the visit but said they had not told Mr Abberton to delete tweets,

A spokesman added: "We were called with a complaint about a message on social media at about 12.40pm on Friday.

"Inquiries were made as to whether any offences had been committed under the Representation of the People Act but none were revealed and no further action was taken."

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said: "This police action is both disturbing and surprising.

"That an apparently general complaint from a political party about not liking what was said about them could have led to a police visit that many would find intimidating is an extremely serious incident that demands immediate investigation. Free speech is a precious right that we must defend."

She added that Green Party House of Lords member Jenny Jones would write to Home Secretary Theresa May calling for the matter to be investigated.

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