THERESA May will today warn that online abuse and intimidation is threatening Britain’s democracy when she gives a speech to mark 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed into law, granting some women the vote.

The Prime Minister is right to use the centenary of the act to set out plans to counter the online “bitterness and aggression” which is deterring many from engaging in political debate. Abuse of those of involved in politics is sadly nothing new – the suffragettes knew more about this than most. The word suffragette itself was originally coined with the aim of demeaning militant, female suffragists as silly, little women, until they took ownership of the phrase and used it to their advantage.

The difference these days is the internet, and that the authors of so much of the abuse can hide behind multiple, anonymised social media profiles.

Mrs May will announce measures to put the onus on social media companies to tackle such intimidation, and will also reflect on today’s votes for women centenary by stating her mission to “build that better future for all our people, a country that works for everyone, and a democracy where every voice is heard”.

A worthy sentiment, but it is worth pointing out that women did not actually receive voting equality with men until 1928. Mrs May’s vision is laudable, but action is needed on so many more issues than just internet bullying before women will be on an equal footing in society – the gender pay gap, access to affordable childcare and domestic violence to name but three.