Sunday, November 28, 2021

‘Immediate review’ of MPs’ safety ordered by Priti Patel after death of Sir David Amess

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The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course.
The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect (Picture: Reuters/PA)

All MPs are being contacted by police to check on their security following the death of Sir David Amess.

Priti Patel has ordered an immediate review after the MP, 69, was fatally stabbed during a constituency surgery on Friday. A man, 25, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

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The home secretary met police and representatives of the security and intelligence agencies this afternoon after saying she had been left ‘devastated’ by the tragedy.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons has confirmed every MP will be contacted by officers after he spoke with Boris Johnson and Ms Patel.

Ms Patel has described the fatal stabbing as an ‘attack on democracy itself’ in a series of tweets.

She said: ‘That he was killed while going about his constituency duties is heartbreaking beyond words. It represents a senseless attack on democracy itself.

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‘Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of our country’s elected representatives and I will provide updates in due course.’

Police officers talk at the scene outside the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, where British Conservative lawmaker David Amess has died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Police gave no immediate details on the motive for the killing of 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker Amess and did not identify the suspect, who was being held on suspicion of murder. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
The investigation into the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess will be led by counter-terrorism officers, police have announced (Picture: AP)

Speaking to BBC2’s Newsnight, Sir Lindsay added: ‘It is about doing the right things working with the police constabularies right across the United Kingdom because it is about joining that up.

‘I know that they are contacting all the MPs to check about their safety, to reassure them, because in the end we have got to make sure that is a priority.’

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He continued: ‘Those people who do not share our values or share democracy, they will not win and we won’t let them win. We will continue to look at security, that is ongoing and it will continue.’

The speaker held his constituency surgery as normal on Friday evening, despite some MPs cancelling theirs.

He said politicians meeting their constituents was an ‘essential part of the democratic process’.

‘What we can’t do is give in to these people, people who don’t believe in our values, don’t believe in what we do,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme.

‘I believe the electorate needs to be able to communicate with the people who have been elected. It is part of our democratic process.

‘We don’t want knee-jerk reaction. What we want to do is make sure MPs can carry out their duties. We have got to make sure MPs are safe.

‘What we can’t have is people trying to stop MPs carrying out their duties. We will not and must not tolerate intimidation, threat, violence and at worst somebody being murdered again.’

Undated handout photo issued by UK Parliament of Conservative MP Sir David Amess who has been stabbed several times at a surgery in his Southend West constituency, according to reports. Issue date: Friday October 15, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE MP . Photo credit should read: Chris McAndrew/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Sir David was stabbed several times at a surgery in his Southend West constituency (Picture: PA)

His sentiments were echoed by the longest-serving sitting MP – Sir Peter Bottomley.

‘I predict all over the country this weekend, next weekend and in the months to come MPs will hold advice sessions. That is what we do,’ he said.

‘There is no perfect security for anybody. My view has always been that in many other walks of life you are at far greater risk than a Member of Parliament.’

Sir David’s death echoes that of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was fatally shot and stabbed as she attended a constituency surgery in 2016.

Brendan Cox, Ms Cox’s widower, wrote on Twitter: ‘This brings everything back.’

Ms Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, said her partner has asked her to step down.

‘It’s so hard because you have a job to do,’ she said.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at veloxnews1@gmail.com

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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