BRADFORD West MP Naz Shah condemned "racist, misogynistic, hate-filled" trolls who abuse her on social media in an impassioned Commons speech yesterday.

Ms Shah was speaking during a debate in the House of Commons on online, anonymous abuse, where MPs shared their experiences and concerned over cowardly social media users who hide behind anonymous profiles to abuse other users.

Ms Shah has regularly been a target of abuse from social media trolls, and research has shown female MPs, particularly those of BAME background, receive a higher level of abuse than male counterparts.

The issue of online abuse has been thrust into the spotlight again with numerous tales of black footballers receiving racist abuse online, and hateful misogynistic abuse levelled at female users following the death of Sarah Everard in London earlier this month.

One of the highest profile incidents of online abuse Naz Shah has received was when Brexit-supporting Leave.EU posted a defamatory tweet calling her a "grooming gangs apologist" in 2019 which lead to a pile on of racist abuse and death threats, for which they were forced to apologise and pay damages.

In her speech yesterday Ms Shah said: "We all know how hurtful abuse can be, and yet for years we have allowed bucketsful of online abuse to go on by.

"The online space has allowed some individuals to mask their characters and express hate in ways that would be utterly unacceptable in the real world.

"I know at first hand the level of abuse, hate and online threats that I have faced over the years, and it is happening online today.

"I know at first hand how a single tweet—which was up for less than eight minutes—can be misrepresented and exaggerated to wrongfully define an individual and cause an avalanche of hate and abuse.

"Due to that one single tweet, an individual was sent to prison for threats that he made to my life and Leave.EU was sued for misrepresenting me.

"But what will happen to the hundreds of anonymous accounts whose Islamophobic, racist, misogynistic and hate-filled threats are left unchallenged on social media—the tweets of me wearing a hijab, falsely labelling me as an Islamist paedophile admirer, those describing me as a cancer that will lead to my destruction, and the hundreds of others that are still online today?

"In the real world we have hate crime laws and defamation laws, but for the anonymous trolls the online space has become a free-for-all.

"The very prejudices that we have fought to tackle over years have resurfaced online. It is almost as if the racism that was once expressed on the street has just moved anonymously online."