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Holly and Phil abuse ‘really damaging’ warns deputy Labour leader

Angela Rayner said she was worried about the scale of the attacks aimed against This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby

Angela Rayner has expressed concern about the online abuse aimed at This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

The pair have been targeted on social media over claims they jumped the queue to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall earlier this month.

Deputy Labour leader Ms Rayner, who has been subjected to horrific online abuse including death threats herself, said she was worried about the targeting of the TV stars.

TRIC Awards 2022
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)

“It hurts when people think that they can call you thick and all of those things,” Ms Rayner said, reflecting on the abuse she has suffered.

“I’ve seen it with what was happening with Philip Schofield and Holly just recently.

“I’ve been worried about them because even though they are celebrities… they are human beings and I just think ‘wow’.

“The way in which the online attack on them, as a human being to have that, I just think is really damaging.”

At a fringe event at the Labour Party conference Ms Rayner said the scale of online abuse meant it was important for Parliament to legislate.

Her message to social media firms was “it’s your gaff, sort it out, you have responsibility to do that” but self-regulation had so far failed.

“They’ve tried to self-regulate, they’ve tried to say ‘we’ll look after you’. They haven’t, they’ve not been able to do it and now it’s time for us to legislate.”

Schofield and Willoughby attended the lying in state to film a segment for their ITV morning show without taking part in the public queue.

The pair acknowledged the backlash but stressed they had “respected” the rules set for the media.

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