Conservative MP James Sunderland fears another MP could be murdered like David Amess.
James Sunderland, who was the last MP to speak to Mr Amess before he was killed, said the issue of safety for politicians needed to be taken much more seriously.
He spoke out a day after GB News revealed Virginia Crosbie wears a stab jacket in meetings with voters in her Welsh constituency.
Mr Sunderland said he was “shocked” to learn this. He told GB News Breakfast: “I know Virginia very well and Mike Freer too. Both of them have admitted recently to wearing stab vests in surgeries and it has come as a shock to me. But actually, they feel as though that’s necessary, and they should have the right to bring whatever protection they need in the course of their duties. So I fully support them. But, clearly, the stakes appear to be increasing.”
Commenting on the murder of David Amess he added: “It was deeply personal for me, and everyone, all of my colleagues.
“David and I were in the Middle East together before he died. We flew back on the Wednesday night. I walked David to his car. In fact, he texted me about an hour before he was murdered. So it was a terrible thing to have to deal with. But David wasn’t the first MP to be murdered in the course of his duties, and sadly, I fear that he may not be the last. We’ve got to take this much more seriously.”
Mr Sunderland’s comments come a day after an extraordinary GB News interview with Virginia Crosbie revealed the level of threat many MPs now face.
Speaking to Gloria De Piero, Ms Crosbie, the MP for Anglesey, said it was not unusual for her to receive an abusive message by Breakfast.
Asked if enough was being done to protect MPs from abuse she said: “No. Absolutely not. If anything, it’s even worse. And it’s not just myself, it’s a lot of other particularly female MPs. Even before we’ve had breakfast many of us have received one or two threats.
“I think there’s an awful lot more that we can do in terms of social media and abuse. I think there needs to be more accountability. The reality is people can turn to social media with impunity. I believe Twitter accounts should be verified, and on Facebook there needs to be fines, and there needs to be fines on some of these social media companies for allowing this content. There needs to be much more control of the ability for the end user to control what they can actually see.”
Revealing how the danger often manifests into physical situations she continued: “I have been in difficult situations. I have surgeries, I do face to face surgeries where I wear a stab jacket, obviously following the murder of David Amess. And also, I have security protection as well. I think it’s important I have direct contact with my constituents. And unfortunately, this is one of the things I have to do to ensure that I can actually do the job that I was elected to do.”
Despite the risks, Ms Crosbie said she would still urge others to enter politics.
“I’d say please step up and get involved,” she said. “We need you. Being the Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn, is the best job in the world. It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked and the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s an opportunity to make a huge difference to somebody. We need more women. Around a third of MP’s are women and just over fifty percent of the electorate are women. So, we need women to step up and get involved so that the legislation, the laws we are passing reflect the whole of the electorate. And if they need help or support, just get in touch with me. I’d be delighted to help.”
Source: GB News
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