Golriz Ghahraman gets security escort following David Seymour's 'menace' comments

Threats against the Green Party's Golriz Ghahraman have escalated to the point that the MP will now be escorted by security.

The Green Party originally told Newshub it was a police security detail, but it's actually a a parliamentary security guard. 

Ghahraman said the increased security follows a spike in threats after comments made by ACT Party leader David Seymour on Magic Talk in which he labelled her a "menace to freedom" in regards to her views on hate speech laws.

"I just think that Golriz Ghahraman is completely wrong, I don't know if she understands what she is saying, but she is a real menace to freedom in this country," he said.

Seymour's comments came two days after a Newhub story revealed white supremacists discussed lynching Ghahraman on a closed forum.

Newshub asked Seymour whether he stood by his comments or took any responsibility for the increase in threats. He doubled down.

"I believe her particular position is a menace to freedom in this country.

"If she's under threat by violent criminals then she's got my full support and deserves the protection that every New Zealander deserves."

The only other MP who has a security detail is the Prime Minister.

Seymour's comments

Seymour made the comments after expressing his concern about agreements like the Christchurch Call leading to greater censorship and authorities being empowered to punish people on the basis of what others believe is offensive.

"People might argue about what the facts are [in a case], and that is why we have juries, but you can only be punished using the power of the state if you are proved to be guilty based on fact," Seymour told Plunket.

"Once you start talking about speech and opinion, well really the question is whether or not the things you say are popular at the time."

He singled out Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Ghahraman as not supporting the view that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" and giving the effect of insulting words too much significance.

There was also a comparison made by Seymour between Ghahraman and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He said he had looked at two pieces of their work and found it "very difficult to tell the difference".

"I actually looked at a couple of paragraphs, one paragraph from each, I tried to guess which was which, and Xi Jinping actually looked like a more liberal guy on this issue than Golriz Ghahraman."

The comments about her being a "menace" were criticised by National MP Judith Collins, who called for a "time out".

"Please don't refer to Golriz in this way. I do not agree with almost anything she says, but she is a person and it does not assist political debate to dehumanise her like that."