The leader of a campaign set up to fight plans to open a lapdancing club in Ampthill has been forced to step down after receiving threats online.
Matthew Dear helped co-ordinate the campaign after Central Beds Council granted permission to give applicant John Shayler a licence to run a sexual entertainment venue last month.
But over the last week, Matthew has been forced to take down all his Twitter and Facebook accounts relating to the campaign after he received threats online on the forum AroundAmpthill.
Matthew said: “I felt I had to withdraw as a public figure for the campaign after threats were made to me on the forum.
“I basically used a bad word in one of my comments and they leaped on that threatening to tell my employer.
“It was actually quite funny at the time because I know my employer would have just laughed.
“But I found it quite sinister that they actually knew my place of work and were threatening to take away my livelihood, when I have four young children.”
MP for Mid Beds Nadine Dorries also urged the people of Ampthill this week to start making as much noise as they can to object to the club, after she claimed they were not doing enough.
But Matthew said: “I agree that we should have done more in the first place, but I know now we are causing a stink among councillors and we are making a fuss. Ideally we would like to see John Shayler’s licence revoked next year.”
Councillor James Jamieson, leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We have received a significant number of objections since the licence was granted. We are recording and logging all the objections that we receive and the licensing committee would be made aware of these.”
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