Teacher 'told children not to talk to classmate' because his father was Tory MP

A teacher told pupils to shun a 13-year-old boy due to his father being a Tory MP, the Commons has heard.

Shouts of "shame" could be heard after Bob Stewart (Beckenham) hit out at the teacher's behaviour against his son during the last general election.

Mr Stewart said all four of his children have been "hassled" by other pupils although added such behaviour was "taken to a new level" by the teacher.

His remarks came during a debate on abuse and intimidation of candidates and the public during the general election campaign.

Former United Nations commander Mr Stewart, first elected as a Tory MP in 2010, told the Commons: "All my four children have been hassled by other kids in their local schools because of the job of their father.

"There's little that can be done about that because they're children, and my kids are robust enough to withstand it.

"But such behaviour is taken to a new level when during the last general election a teacher tells the class of my 13-year-old boy that nobody should talk to him because he's the son of a Conservative MP."

Home Office minister Sarah Newton, speaking for the Government, described Mr Stewart's story as "deeply upsetting and deeply troubling".

She said: "That is simply unacceptable.

"It's a noble thing to stand for election. It's a noble thing to want to represent your community whether as a councillor or as an MP in this place.

"Those people in a position of authority and influence, such as a teacher, should be supporting and upholding the shared values of our country, and it's most disappointing to hear somebody in such a powerful and influential position letting themselves down and letting their profession down."

Vicky Ford (Chelmsford) told MPs of a partially sighted candidate who was threatened with rape.

Calling for particular concern to be made for vulnerable candidates, Ms Ford said the fellow Conservative - who stood in the east of England - was subjected to online abuse, including a threat to "shoot her then pull the teeth out of her jaw while she fades away".

Ms Ford said the police were notified of the abuse but then said they were not aware of the crime being reported, as she suggested there be "better guidelines for how the police should be reacting in the future".


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