A CONSERVATIVE MP has defended a social media post in which she was seen holding a gun with the caption ‘smashing clays like we smashed the red wall’.

Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison was criticised on Facebook and Twitter and after sharing a picture and video of herself clay pigeon shooting at Teesdale Gun Club, at Mickleton.

Dean of Durham Law School and Professor of Law and Government Thom Brooks, who is a Labour member and immigration advisor, said: “I thought it was very distasteful.

“I don’t think MPs of any party should be sharing photos of themselves firing weapons, metaphorically at political opponents. I don’t for a minute suggest it is aimed at anyone, I just felt it was something different to Boris Johnson bulldozing through blocks at Brexit events.

“Maybe I’m more sensitive about politicians and guns, being from the US, but I felt it was inappropriate.”

Ms Davison said it was 'absurd' to suggest the post was inciting violence with the post was absurd.

She said: “During recess, I am spending as much time as possible out as meeting local clubs and businesses.

“As part of this, I visited Teesdale Gun club, to learn about their club, look around their fantastic facilities, and even have a go at clay pigeon shooting myself.

“The Club’s social distancing and Covid secure measures are fantastic and anyone interested should definitely give it a go.

“To suggest I am inciting violence with this post is absurd. I have spoken publicly about how my dad lost his life through violence and the profound impact it had on me growing up.

“This was one of my key motivators for going into politics, and for joining the Home Affairs Select Committee, so that I can help pursue policies to reduce violent crime and protect victims. Any suggestion I would then incite violence is laughable.

“It is also telling that, yet again, that the only complaints have been from Labour members. Perhaps, instead, this highlights their inherent views on rural sports, and just how out of touch with our rural communities they are.”