MPs ‘likely’ to be offered private security guards after David Amess murder, says Dominic Raab


MPs are set to be offered more private security guards when they meet constituents at surgical events following the murder of Sir David Amess, the Justice Secretary has announced.

Dominic Raab said an increase in private security is the “likeliest” option to boost security, rather than placing more police outside MPs’ cabinets.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Sunday MPs could have police protection while they hold constituency meetings as part of a “range of measures” under consideration.

But the Justice Secretary has raised concerns that having police officers could have a ‘chilling effect’ as voters seek to engage with their elected representative.

Asked if he would welcome any officers into his cabinets, Raab told Sky News: ‘I probably wouldn’t choose to have them outside of a cabinet I’ve had. I would worry about the chilling effect, I’m not sure it’s necessary to have that.

The Minister added: ‘I think we are more likely to look at things like private security guards – there is already, I believe, money available for that.

Raab said he would not stand in the way of colleagues who wish to have a police presence when meeting with the public. “It depends on the individual,” he said.

But the Minister added: “We don’t let terrorists win by creating gaps or walls between us and those who vote for us… You don’t want to add to that feeling of foreboding as they wait for surgery to constituency. .”

Cautioning against a blanket approach to security measures, Raab later told LBC: “I don’t want to overreact… I personally feel pretty safe, but others will feel differently about their situation. One thing we will want to do is take a proportionate approach.

Patel has ordered a police review of MPs’ security following the murder at constituency surgery at Sir David’s headquarters in Southend West, and is expected to address the House of Commons on Monday.

The Home Secretary said on Sunday that police protection was part of a ‘range’ of options – saying the government was looking ‘when you organize your operations, could you have officers or some kind of protection while you organize your operation”.

She also said there was a need to ‘close any gaps’ in security – citing measures such as ‘making appointments in advance, checking the details of the people you see, checking in advance the places where you go”.

According to The temperature.

Stephen Roberts, former deputy deputy commissioner of the Met Police, said each MP’s security protection should be “tailored” to what they were comfortable with.

‘I have heard Dominic Raab say he would be very unhappy to have police officers outside a medical practice which he ran…so there will be proportionate protection for every MP’s situation,’ said Roberts to Sky News.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood argued that MPs should organize Zoom operations instead of face-to-face meetings, while Labor MP Diane Abbott suggested they take place behind screens.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told the BBC Breakfast the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington “speaks from experience”.

The Labor frontbencher, who said he had received death threats as an MP, added: ‘I think we have to look at a range of different options here. I think there is the screen option made by Diane. I know that others talk about the police presence in consulting rooms.

Raab revealed on Monday that he had received three death threats in the past two years – saying the incidents “led to an intervention” without giving further details.

He told the BBC Breakfast“There will be people who will suffer worse abuse than me – and I feel particularly for women MPs, and I know colleagues of mine who have come off, for example, from Twitter because it’s so despicable.”

Raab signaled he could support shutting down anonymous social media accounts to tackle online hate – but also warned of the potential impact on free speech.

He raised concerns that he didn’t want to “send a message to bullies around the world that they can expose” activists who need anonymity.

But he added: “Overall, I think this needs to be looked at very carefully… I don’t see why people should be able to abuse social media position from a veil of ‘anonymity.”

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has said the UK must avoid a ‘gut reaction’ to the security issue for MPs following the murder of Sir David Amess.

He added that he doesn’t want to find himself in a situation where MPs have the level of security that surrounds American politicians, like Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

He told ITV Hello Brittany“Do I want to be like President Pelosi, who can’t go anywhere without armed police?” Is this a life that I want? No.”


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