The “Stop the Cull” Facebook page associated with convicted criminal Jay Tiernan has launched a campaign of abuse against Charles Wilson for his involvement with the Countryside Alliance Foundation. Earlier this month the Alliance launched a Thunderclap campaign calling for the online abuse and bullying of people in the countryside to be tackled.

The Foundation is the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance, which runs the Casting for Recovery project which delivers a fly fishing and counselling programme for ladies with breast cancer. It also runs the Fishing 4 Schools project which is an educational initiative that introduces 10-16 year-olds to the joy of fishing, whilst enhancing their knowledge of key curriculum subjects in an enjoyable way

Charles Wilson, in his late seventies, has a distinguished record in journalism, serving as editor of The Times (1985-1990) and as Managing Director of the Mirror Group (1992-1998). As well as being a Trustee at the Countryside Alliance Foundation and a Trustee of the Woodland Pytchley hunt, Mr Wilson also serves as a board member on the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) which serves as the principal industry regulator of the press. Jay Tiernan, who is strongly associated with the Stop the Cull page has a criminal record for intimidating and harassing farmers.

Last week (6 April) the Stop the Cull page posted suggesting that Charles Wilson should be forced from his position on the IPSO board due to his involvement with his local hunt and Alliance charitable work. It cited there being a conflict of interest between Charles Wilson having ties to traditional countryside pursuits and being on the board of the principal press regulator, blaming bad coverage that many militant animal rights activists have received in the media on this alleged conflict of interest.

Commenting upon the post, one user said: “This is where social media comes into its own, let’s start sifting out this overpaid scum!! Let’s wipe that smug look of superiority off his face”. Other comments made by supporters of the Stop the Cull page were, “They are no better than paedophiles trying to get jobs in schools”, and, “Hunters are sick, perverted filth, just like paedophiles”. One user even posted an annotated picture of Charles Wilson with a bullet hole in his forehead. All of these comments were posted on April 6th, but have yet to be taken down.

Commenting on the case, a Spokesman for the Alliance said:

“Charles Wilson has a highly distinguished career and is hugely committed to his charitable work with the Countryside Alliance Foundation. He plays a key role in directing the Foundation’s projects, many of which provide invaluable assistance to some of the most vulnerable.

“The Stop the Cull’s latest harassment campaign against Mr Wilson is completely unacceptable and many of the comments posted on the page in response to the post about Mr Wilson are sickening. The Stop the Cull page, like many other pages run by animal rights militants, routinely seeks to stir up campaign’s of hatred and harassment against those engaged in entirely legal activities, and then fail to moderate vile comments that more often than not include an assortment of death threats.

“The worse comments on the page have been up for more than five days. Though we will be reporting the comments in question to Facebook, based on their past responses to our complains, we doubt whether they will take the robust action required. Clearly it’s high time that Facebook bring their own community standards, that seek to promote a “safe and welcoming environment”, into line with the far tougher requirements of the law, as set out in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines published last autumn.”

To sign up as a supporter of the Alliance Thunderclap campaign, please follow this link: Online abuse must stop NOW