#ResistanceBill hashtag goes viral to combat Number 10 social media strategy

PUBLISHED: 17:11 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:32 04 September 2019

The #resistancebill hashtag is trending in retaliation against Tory messaging that was branded 'beneath contempt' in the House of Commons. Picture: Twitter

The #resistancebill hashtag is trending in retaliation against Tory messaging that was branded 'beneath contempt' in the House of Commons. Picture: Twitter

Twitter

After Boris Johnson branded the anti-no-deal Brexit bill a "surrender bill", Twitter users have set an alternative hashtag going.

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Documents leaked from Downing Street show that Tory MPs have been ordered to brand the rebel legislation "Corbyn's surrender bill" and label it a "shameful document", according to a Buzzfeed scoop.

The label has caused uproar for framing the EU as an enemy and for giving the false notion that the bill would put the government in the position of having "to accept any terms Brussels demands".

It appeared on official Conservative Party social media feeds and has been described as "beneath contempt" in the House of Commons.

But Remainers have taken action to ensure an alternative takes hold by sharing the hashtag #ResistanceBill.

Popular Remain Twitter user and activist SheRa Marley-Threepwood started it by tweeting the Buzzfeed report and commenting: "VERY important. They've branded it the "surrender bill". We need to get something else trending. The #ResistanceBill would work."

After two hours, the hashtag rocketed to the third most popular in the UK, being taken up by MPs, celebrities and campaign groups such as Our Future, Our Choice.

She told the New European that she launched it after realising how Johnson's team were attempting to seize control of the narrative.

"It is essential that we do not let Cummings and co brand this 'battle' any way they want," she said. "You need a strong coherent message from all sides of the spectrum."

The issue of the prime minister's hostile messaging has been raised in the House of Commons as MPs debate the rebel bill.

Labour MP Angela Eagle asked Keir Starmer whether he agreed that "the characterisation of Conservative central office, which even now is appearing on Twitter, in their other social media as we debate this extremely important bill, hashtagging this bill 'the surrender bill' is beneath contempt?"

"It is beneath contempt," replied Starmer. "The businesses, the people who work in businesses, and the management of businesses who will look in on horror, because they have repeatedly told me and many other members of this house their deep concerns about no deal. And we are protecting this country against no deal."

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