Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has revealed that he has 24-hour police protection after receiving several violent threats on social media.
Mayor Khan told The Times the abuse has gone from “name-calling, trolling and threats to terrorism” and has directly affected his family.
The mayor has received 237 threats on social media and City Hall referred 17 cases to police over three months, The Times reports.
Mayor Khan said: “You can’t escape the fact that those close to me are worried.
“It can’t be right that one of the consequences of me being the mayor of London and a Muslim in public life is that I have police protection.”
“What sort of message does it send to my children’s generation who want to get into politics?”
The mayor said abuse and violent threats against politicians has increased since the European referendum in 2016, but did not blame Brexiteers for the spike.
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He said: “The referendum campaign allowed things to come to the surface and normalised things that should not be normalised.
“It starts with name-calling, it can lead to criminal damage and graffiti (and) ultimately to the situation where Jo Cox is murdered or a terrorist can come to London and try to divide communities.”
Labour MP Jo Cox was stabbed and shot by a man who described himself as a “political activist”, while she was holding a constituency surgery in 2016.