A veteran MP has spoken of his “dismay” after the Newham Recorder uncovered an email campaign targeting a Newham school.

Emails obtained under Freedom of Information laws showed an anti-gay Islamic pressure group encouraged parents to bombard East Ham’s Plashet School with complaints that a lunchtime club had “promoted” equal rights for LGBTQ+ communities.

Complainants accused staff of “grooming” and “sexualising” children, with one writing: “The school needs to know that actions have consequences… Be warned, we will not tolerate this.”

Staff were left in fear for their own safety and police had to be called.

Sir Stephen Timms MP told the Recorder he was monitoring the situation at Plashet “with great interest”.

“I was aware that the incident had taken place,” he said.

“I had not, however, seen these emails. I am dismayed to see their content.”

The National Secular Society (NSS) said the campaign against Plashet was part of “a growing trend of teachers and children facing harassment, threats and intimidation from religious activists trying to impose their fundamentalist world view on schools”.

It said: “The government must act urgently to stop such incidents becoming the norm.”

Newham Recorder:

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But Sir Stephen – a Labour MP in Newham since 1994 – said he could not take the issue forward because no constituents had asked him to.

“I have not as yet received any complaints from parents about what happened, but if I did receive them, I would certainly take them up on the parents’ behalf,” he said.

He added that Plashet was “an excellent school” with “superb” staff.

“An independent report over what happened has been commissioned by the school, in partnership with the council, and I will await the outcome of that with great interest,” he said.

Plashet School reacted to the email campaign by shutting down its lunchtime Equalities Club, prompting staff who ran it to walk out of their jobs in protest.

The school has consistently refused to explain that decision or comment on the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.

The headline on this story was edited on May 12 after a previous version caused offence to some readers. This was not the intention and we apologise for any offence caused.