AN investigation into the abuse of parliamentary candidates will examine whether measures to protect public service integrity are effective despite the rise of social media.

Setting out the terms of reference for the review, the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life said it would look to see if legislation already in place to address intimidation was enforceable and effective.

The investigation follows a wave of intimidation during the General Election campaign, and accusations from Labour and the Conservatives that the other failed to act to stamp out abuse by their members and activists after reports of racism, anti-Semitism and sexism.

Factory worker Mark Sands, 51, was jailed in April for issuing death threats to former Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell. The committee, which will also consider implications for other public office holders and candidates, will report back to the Prime Minister with recommendations on how to tackle future abuse in the short and long term.

It has called for evidence on whether the media or social media has changed the “nature, scale, or effect of intimidation of parliamentary candidates”, and if legislation is sufficient.