The MP (r) was not delighted with Lindsay's suggestion.
Andy McDonald, the Labour MP for Middlesbrough, has reported a solicitor to the police for writing about lynching him, RollOnFriday can reveal.
Andrew Lindsay, the chairman of the legal advisory service Representation UK and the former head of corporate finance at Yorkshire firm Lupton Fawcett, referred to McDonald being "dragged through the streets of Teesside and lynched" in a social media post if he was found to have unfairly attacked Ben Houchen, the Conservative mayor of Tees Valley.
McDonald previously used parliamentary privilege to level accusations of corruption at Houchen in relation to the acquisition of the huge Teesworks development site, which the MP told the house was sold to private developers “for a mere £1 an acre plus inflation".
Outside of parliament he said the deal “doesn’t pass the smell test”, but stopped short of repeating the allegations.
Houchen responded by calling the MP a “liar and a coward”, and said the investigation by an independent panel would “show there is no corruption [or] illegality”.
Lindsay weighed in to defend Houchen on LinkedIn, where he said the mayor “has done more for Teesside than any politician. Ever”.
The lawyer continued, “If it turns out the enquiry concludes ‘there’s nothing to be seen here,’ and in the meantime some investment and jobs are lost, local Labour MP, Andy McDonald, (who has refused to repeat his allegations outside of Parliament) should be dragged through the streets of Teesside and lynched”.
McDonald, who used to be a senior solicitor at trade union specialists Thompsons Solicitors, told ROF the allusion to his execution was “Quite distressing, and from a fellow lawyer, too”, and that Lindsay "should be ashamed of himself”.
Confirming that he had reported the matter to the police, the MP said, “I wonder how he would feel. My family has to read this. It’s not the first death threat or expression of violence meted out to me, but two of my colleagues have been murdered”.
Labour MP Jo Cox was killed outside her constituency surgery in 2016, while Tory MP David Amess died after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in 2021.
“I’ve had to have people prosecuted for threatening me in the past", said McDonald. "Someone of his vintage and experience ought to think very carefully about making these sorts of statements...By all means disagree with me, but threatening to hang me is beyond the pale”.
Lindsay emphasised that he had only been joking, telling ROF, “I don’t think anyone who read my comment could seriously think that it should be taken literally!”
“It was clearly a metaphor to make the point that Parliamentary privilege is precisely that - namely a ‘privilege,’ which should not be used - (as Andy McDonald appears to have done) as a method of making statements with complete impunity, which might be completely inaccurate and potentially actionable”, he said.
“If the MP seriously thought that some grave misdemeanour had been perpetrated, he should have been prepared to make it publicly”, Lindsay said.