Consultation outcome

Intimidation in Public Life: CSPL Call for Evidence

This consultation has concluded

Detail of outcome

Read the Committee’s report: Intimidation in Public Life.

In recent years, the intimidation experienced by Parliamentary candidates, and others in public life, has become a threat to the diversity, integrity, and vibrancy of representative democracy in the UK.

The Committee reports on its review of intimidation in public life, including Parliamentary candidates and others.

The Committee makes a package of recommendations for action to government, social media companies, political parties, the police, broadcast and print media, and MPs and Parliamentary candidates themselves.

Original consultation


The Committee on Standards in Public Life is seeking evidence to inform its review of intimidation experienced by Parliamentary candidates, including those who stood at the 2017 General Election.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

Terms of Reference

The Committee on Standards in Public Life is undertaking a review of intimidation experienced by Parliamentary candidates, including those who stood at the 2017 General Election. We will also consider the broader implications for other candidates for public office and other public office holders.

This review will:

  • Examine the nature of the problem and consider whether measures already in place to address such behaviour are satisfactory to protect the integrity of public service; and whether such measures are (a) effective, especially given the rise of social media, and (b) enforceable;

  • Produce a report for the Prime Minister, including recommendations for action focused on what could be done in the short- and long-term and identifying examples of good practice.

The review will recognise the important role of legitimate scrutiny of those standing for public office by the public and the press.

We welcome contributions from anyone interested in this issue. The call for evidence will be open until 5pm on Friday 8 September.

Review Questions

The Committee invites evidence and comments on the following themes:

  1. What is the nature and degree of intimidation experienced by Parliamentary candidates, in particular at the 2017 General Election?
  2. Does the issue of the intimidation of Parliamentary candidates reflect a wider change in the relationship and discourse between public office holders and the public?
  3. Has the media or social media significantly changed the nature, scale, or effect of intimidation of Parliamentary candidates? If so, what measures would you suggest to help address these issues?
  4. Is existing legislation sufficient to address intimidation of Parliamentary candidates?
  5. What role should political parties play in preventing the intimidation of Parliamentary candidates and encouraging constructive debate?
  6. What other measures might be effective in addressing the intimidation of Parliamentary candidates, and candidates for public offices more broadly?
  7. Could the experience of intimidation by Parliamentary candidates discourage people from standing for elected or appointed public offices?
  8. Has the intimidation of Parliamentary candidates led to a change in the way in which public office holders interact with the public in correspondence, on social media, or at in-person events?

Further information and submission guidelines are available in the document above.


Intimidation of Parliamentary candidates: call for evidence

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Published 24 July 2017
Last updated 6 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Closed consultation - link to final report.
  2. First published.