Campaigner quits bid for political seat after death threat ‘Vile comments’ prompt mum to stand down
AMATERNITY campaigner has abandoned her bid for political office only days after she announced it, following “vile” abuse and a death threat she received through a campaign Facebook page.
Marsha Davis, 36, who founded neonatal charity Little Miracles UK in 2012 after the premature birth of her daughter Eleanor, said she received the messages after declaring her intention to compete for a Conservative seat in next year’s Welsh Assembly elections.
She only declared her interest on Monday last week, but was devastated by some of the abuse she received in private messages on the “Save doctorled maternity services North Wales” Facebook page.
The mother-of-six said fighting Betsi Cadwaladr’s plan to remove obstetricled maternity services from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd was always her focus, but she even thought about giving that up after receiving the hate mail, which she refused to repeat.
“To be honest, I expected some backlash,” said Marsha, who joined with former Daily Post editor Mark Thomas in March to hand over a 15,000-signature petition to the Welsh Government.
“People were telling me to stand and I was considering going independent. I was never going to win regardless.
“My biggest thing was the comments. I had lots of nice comments but there were some really vile comments.
“I actually received a death threat. I am a really strong person, but I spent a couple of days upset and in tears.”
Marsha says she chose the Conservatives because she was facing pressure to make a decision before the selection deadline.
“It wasn’t something I thought I could ever do in the first place anyway,” she said.
“People were pushing me to do it and obviously people in the campaign groups were trying to get me on board.
“Last week was hard. There was a deadline and I had to make a decision whether I was going to stand or not, because without me going through the selection panel it was a no-go.
“So I had to bite the bullet and say: ‘okay let’s do it’, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was thinking maybe it’s what’s needed to make a difference.”
She believes the attitude shown by some people towards her decision sums up some of the problems facing politics in this country and added: “There’s not one party that’s perfect. The reason we have got a mixed bag is so we can oppose decisions. I want those people who put those horrible messages to know it’s not acceptable.”
Despite being shaken by the experience, she says she and her campaigners will now fight to save maternity services harder than ever.
“There’s not a chance the health board are going to get away with it,” she said.
“The whole public consultation isn’t fair. There are all the tactics in place to make sure we lose it.”
Marsha Davis, founder of charity Little Miracles, is stepping out of the race to be Tory Assembly candidate for the Vale of Clwyd after ‘vile’ messages and a death threat