In the aftermath of the killing, UK MPs may be given police security at public meetings

MPs were offered tighter security measures following the 2016 murder of Labour representative Jo Cox | Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Following the murder of their colleague David Amess, British MPs having public meetings may be provided police protection, according to Home Secretary Priti Patel.

After the Conservative representative for Southend West was tragically stabbed at a drop-in meeting in his constituency, ministers and parliamentary authorities are immediately reviewing MPs' security outside parliament. Known as surgeries, these face-to-face sessions let constituents convey their issues directly to their legislators.

Since Friday's incident, Patel said several security measures had been implemented. Still, he also stated that other possibilities are being investigated, such as whether MPs will be granted "officers or some kind of protection while you're holding your surgery."

She told Sky News, "We need to close any gaps basically where we feel there are concerns." Patel stated that new safety measures would be implemented "immediately."

"This isn't a case of waiting two, three, or four weeks," she explained.

MPs were offered greater security measures after the 2016 murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was assassinated while on her way to meet constituents in her Batley and Spen area. However, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle wrote in the Observer on Sunday that Britain now needs to "take stock and review whether those measures are adequate to safeguard members, staff, and constituents, particularly during surgeries."

However, Hoyle warned that eliminating face-to-face surgeries would jeopardize a "cornerstone of our democracy" by lowering legislators' public presence.

"Ensuring that anyone who wants or needs security at surgeries is a good idea," Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said. "Not least because people often know, even if we don't advertise them, that they are happening, so they can become a magnet for people who want to come and cause trouble."

"I'm not sure we'll ever be able to eliminate the risk," the opposition frontbencher said, "but there are other things we can do to mitigate the risk."

Ali Harbi Ali, 25, was apprehended after the attack by police. Under the Terrorism Act, he is currently being held at a London police station.

Publish : 2021-10-17 21:03:00

Give Your Comments