Tim Robbins, from Pant, near Oswestry has launched a website to create a public record of which councillors who are calling for an immediate ceasefire to “end the genocide” in Gaza (Shropshire Star). I don’t disagree with the ambitions of the petition but Mr Robbins is intending name and shame those that do not sign up. He accuses people who won’t sign of having “extreme views.” He does not recognise, and neither does the Shropshire Star, that he is putting councillors in danger.

I can appreciate that Mr Robbins is not aware of the level of abuse, even of threat, that councillors now receive. Shropshire Council employed security guards at a recent council meeting because of threats to councillors and disturbances in council meetings elsewhere in the country.

Let me make clear my position on the current conflict in Israel and Gaza:

All hostilities must cease immediately. The peace should be monitored by an international peacekeeping force. Aid be supplied as a matter emergency with international protection. The destroyed medical infrastructure of Gaza should be replaced immediately. The world should stop supplying arms to all combatants in a conflict that can only be solved by peace. In the longer term, there needs to be a two state solution with international guarantees of secure, peaceful statehood for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Local councillors are much more concerned about their personal safety that at any point in recent years. Abuse has increased because people can taunt and threaten online without a moment’s thought. Sometimes with too much thought. Shropshire councillors have been discussing the abuse and threats they receive between themselves for a while. Those are discussions between us and officers and I am not going to reveal any details. But the very existence of such discussions shows the level of our concern.

Mr Robbins actions come under the category of threats online. He is described in the Star as a peace campaigner. How can you be a peace campaigner if you threaten people and expose them to potential danger? How can you be a peace campaigner when you accuse people who won’t sign as having extreme views without knowing their views or reasons for not signing. Mr Robbins should withdraw his reckless attempt to name and shame councillors and to put them in danger. He should work towards peace in the Middle East not towards creating conflict in Shropshire.

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