Security measures for Lancashire MPs ‘under review’ after death of Sir David Amess
Written by Skywave Radio News on October 20, 2021
Politicians across Lancashire have spoken out about their personal security in light of the death of an MP in Southend.
Conservative MP Sir David Amess died after suffering multiple stab wounds at one of his constituency surgeries in Essex last Friday (October 15).
The incident, which comes after Yorkshire MP Jo Cox was murdered while attending a surgery, has led to the House of Commons launching a review into security for MPs.
LancsLive spoke to some of Lancashire’s MPs and asked what security measures they currently have in place and if any changes had been brought in following Sir David’s death.
Ribble Valley Nigel Evans said he would miss Sir David, who he described as a friend, “terribly”.
“We introduced new security measures after the tragic murder of Jo Cox and we review them constantly,” he said.
“I will liaise with the police and follow guidance from any recommendations following the Speaker’s review of safety but I must stress meeting our constituents is a vitally important part of our job and that must not be diminished due to Sir David’s brutal killing on Friday.
“He died serving the public he loved and today (Monday October 18) will be a very difficult day for all of us at Westminster. David was a friend for over 30 years and I will miss him terribly as will the whole House of Commons and House of Lords.”
A spokesman for Blackburn MP Kate Hollern revealed that constituents are required to book a surgery appointment in advance.
“Currently advice surgeries are by appointment, and although this primarily ensures that surgeries are COVID-19 secure, this does help us know who to expect at the surgery,” the spokesman said.
“We will be continuing with this arrangement and will be working with Lancashire Police to consider what other measures might help ensure the safety of Kate, her staff, and constituents.”
Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who – as Speaker of the House of Commons, ordered the security review currently taking place, said Sir David’s death had “sent shockwaves across the parliamentary community”.
“I am shocked and deeply distressed by the killing of Sir David Amess,” he said.
“David was a lovely man, devoted to his family, to Parliament and his Southend West constituency. He was well-liked by members and staff alike and during his almost four decades here built a reputation for kindness and generosity.
“This is an incident that will send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country. In the coming days we will need to discuss and examine MPs’ security and any measures to be taken, but for now, our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family, friends and colleagues.”
South Ribble MP Katherine Fletcher told LancsLive: “In Parliament today, MPs from all parties came together to remember to the life and work of the late David Amess.
“It has been an emotional day for all of us. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family as they grieve for a devoted husband and father.
“After listening to the tributes paid to David, I am as determined as ever to preserve the relationship between local residents and their MP. I will be carefully assessing any new advice that is issued to MPs regarding security, to ensure that it is implemented in such a way as to keep us all safe, but not hamper democratic engagement.”
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton said he would continue to meet with residents “as normal”.
The horrific and tragic death of Sir David Amess whilst he was conducting his public duty as an MP highlights the risk which MPs face on a daily basis,” he told LancsLive.
“The very nature of the job demands face to face interaction with residents. This is something I enjoy and which is integral to the role. Whilst we formally await the review of security measures commissioned by the Home Secretary I will be continuing my duties as normal.
“I hold more surgeries than the vast majority of MPs and these will be carrying on over the coming weeks.
“Every resident is free to attend a surgery without booking an appointment. The next dates are on the 23rd October (1pm – 3pm at the Solaris Centre); 24th October (1-2pm at the Victory Pub) and 13th November (1-3pm at the Tyldesley Con Club).”
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said he would not want to take any steps to reduce his availability to his constituents.
“Security arrangements to ensure the protection of my staff, constituents and myself alike are kept under continual review,” he said.
“I would not wish to take any steps that would in any way reduce my availability to constituents.”
Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith said she would prefer not to comment on security on the back of official advice.
“On the advice of police and parliamentary security I will not be commenting on any security measures I have in place,” she said.
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