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MP calls for investigation

Filed: Monday, 12th March 2018
By: Staff Writer

An Essex-based MP has called for an investigation into the alleged abuse received by a member of an Independent Supporters' Association.

Mark Walker, the head of WHUISA (who is also a member of KUMB) was targeted by an online campaign last week after attempting to resurrect a postponed fans' march.

And Wes Streeting, the MP for Ilford North has since written to West Ham in order to ask why the club failed to support Walker, a season ticket holder, in the wake of the attack.

"What concerns me is that mainstream representatives of a supporter group have been sidelined and the abuse they have been subjected to appears to not have been not taken seriously by the board," Mr Streeting told the Guardian's Jacob Steinberg.

"The club canít pretend to be unaware of the fears following intimidation to fans. Instead West Ham seem to be acting like ostriches with their heads in the sand and are hiding behind bureaucracy. Karren Brady should be taking this more seriously."

Explaining how he became involved in the furore, Streeting revealed that he first read of Mr Walker's plight in the media.

"I was concerned to read the coverage about Markís treatment in the Guardian over the weekend and have subsequently spoken to him about his experiences," he continued. "I am very troubled to hear about the threats he has received and that he has feared for his and his familyís safety."

And he confirmed that he has since written to vice chair Karren Brady, requesting her observations on the incident.

"I am disappointed that you, and other directors, appear not to have clearly condemned the online abuse and threats to Mark, which meant that he was advised not to attend Saturdayís game," read the letter.

"I believe that the club has a particular responsibility to call out abuse and threats when you become aware of them. Tensions are clearly high between fans and the clubís owners and directors, reflected in the scenes over the weekend, but this should not be allowed to impact on fans like Mark."

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