MPs to be offered security guards from today at constituency surgeries

Home Secretary Priti Patel paying her respects to the Conservative MP Sir David Amess after he was stabbed to death at Belfairs Methodist Church, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on Friday 15th October 2021. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street.

Following a review into their safety in the wake of Sir David Amess’s death, MPs will now be offered a security guard for constituency surgeries.

The decision came after a court heard 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali purportedly plotted to kill an MP two years ago, first focusing on two others before the alleged terrorist murder of Sir David.

The popular Conservative MP Southend West was killed during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, five years after Labour’s Jo Cox was murdered in a similar scenario.

In a letter reported by The Times, Sir Lindsay and Ms Patel wrote to MPs acknowledging they will be “rightly concerned about their own safety and security, and that of their staff.”

The letter added:

“The work you carry out can put you at odds with a wide range of ideologies and views and a small minority of hostile individuals may be motivated by grievances which are difficult to detect and whose actions are hard to predict.”

They said a “trained and accredited security operative will be available to come to your constituency surgeries.”

This week Ms Patel told the Commons that intelligence officers had upgraded the threat level for MPs to “substantial” meaning a fresh attack is deemed likely.

She said there was no “specific or imminent threat” but it was understood MPs were being contacted over how their security arrangements may be altered.

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