Esther McVey addresses security fears and being followed home
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Sir David Amess was killed while meeting constituents in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday, five and a half years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist. Some MPs on Saturday were calling for a review of safety procedures before resuming meetings with constituents. Esther McVey has recalled on GB News the threats she has faced. She said: “I had people following me home. You can imagine it on social media.
“Somebody would say she’s on this train, they would follow me to the train station and all the way home.
“People would be meeting me on the other end to which I had to get public transport all the way home as well.
“You’ve just got to be careful about anyone’s security.
“Not just a female MP but any MP’s security.”
It comes as the Home Secretary has said security measures will be put in place to ensure MPs can continue to meet constituents safely following the murder.
A former minister called for face-to-face meetings to be suspended pending a security review after long-serving MP Sir David was fatally stabbed on Friday while meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend.
But Priti Patel said it is possible to strike a balance between the safety of MPs and carrying out the democratic process in-person, as she urged elected representatives not to be “cowed” by those threatening to “stop us from functioning”.
Ms Patel, who laid flowers at the site of Sir David’s killing alongside the Prime Minister, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle on Saturday morning, told broadcasters: “We are open to surgeries, doing our job. We will continue to do that.
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“That is why there are measures under way right now – I convened meetings yesterday, I’ve been with the Speaker of the House, and with the police and our security services to make sure that all measures are being put in place for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties as elected democratic members.”
Her comments come after Tobias Ellwood, a former Tory defence minister, said physical meetings with voters should be paused while MPs await the result of the Home Secretary’s call for police forces to review security arrangements.
Local police forces are contacting every MP to discuss their personal safety and the security of any events they plan to attend.
The chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, who was hailed as a hero for his attempts to save the life of Pc Keith Palmer during the Westminster terror attack, tweeted: “MP engagement with the public… is a vital part of our work – our accessibility with the public.
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“But understandable huge anxiety among MPs now.
“Until the Home Secretary’s review of MP security is complete I would recommend a temporary pause in face-to-face meetings.”
But former Cabinet minister David Davis said suspending public meetings with MPs would be “a terrible reflection of what David stood for”.
He told Sky News: “Sure, we should be cautious, maybe we should do things to ensure the people who come to see us are bona fide, but I think actually pausing it would be a bad idea.
“It would be a terrible reflection of what David stood for – David himself was the ultimate constituency MP.”
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