A former minister asked to suspend face-to-face meetings pending a security review after longtime MP Sir David was stabbed to death on Friday while meeting constituents at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend. called upon.
but Priti Patel He said it was possible to strike a balance between protecting lawmakers and personally carrying out the democratic process, as he urged elected representatives not to be “cowardly” of those threatening to “stop us working”.
Ms Patel, who laid wreaths at the site of Sir David’s assassination, along with the Prime Minister, Labor leader Siro Keer starrer And Commons President Sir Lindsay Hoyle told broadcasters on Saturday morning: “We are open to surgery while doing our job. We will continue to do so.
“That’s why measures are going on right now – I’ve called meetings tomorrow, I’ve gone with the Speaker of the House and the police and our security services to make sure that all measures are being taken to protect the elected democratic members. to discharge his duties as such.”
His remarks came after Tobias Ellwood, a former Tory defense minister, said physical meetings with voters should be halted while lawmakers await the outcome of the Home Secretary’s call for police forces to review security arrangements.
Local police forces are contacting each MP to discuss their personal safety and plans to attend any events.
The chairman of the Commons Defense Committee, who was hailed as a hero for his efforts to save the life of PC Keith Palmer during the Westminster terror attack, tweeted: “Partners engage with the public … a part of our work The important part is our reach with the masses.
“But now the huge concern among MPs is understandable.
“I would recommend a temporary break in face-to-face meetings till the Home Secretary’s review of MP security is completed.”
But former cabinet minister David Davies said postponing public meetings with lawmakers would be “a terrible reflection for David”.
He told Sky News: “Certainly, we should be cautious, maybe we should do something to make sure that the people who come to see us are truthful, but I think it’s really a matter of stopping that.” would be a bad idea.
“It would be a terrible reflection of what David stood for – David himself was the last constituency MP.”
Meanwhile, the longest-serving female MP, Harriet Harman She said she would write to the prime minister urging him to support a speaker’s conference to see what needed to change to keep MPs safe in their constituencies.
Speaking to the BBC, the veteran Labor politician said: “We can’t see the death of an MP as being the price we have to pay for our democracy.”
She continued: “I don’t think anyone wants to get into a situation where the police are investigating individual constituents who come and see us, but I’m sure there’s a safe way to go about our business. .
“That’s why I’m proposing that we have a Speaker’s Conference, which is something that only happens once every 10 years, where there’s a big issue for Parliament and our democracy, and the Speaker will be able to communicate with the parties and the officials. Brings together and comes up with recommendations.
“Since the tragic murder of Joe Cox, we’ve made changes to our home security, we’ve made security changes in Parliament, but we haven’t addressed the issue of how we go about that important business in our constituency. But let’s do it in a safe way – and I think we should do that now.”
Conservative MP Kevin Foster, who represents Torbay, said it is “not practical” to have airport-style security in lawmakers’ surgery.
“Inevitably some have asked what this means for lawmakers to have access to residents, but having constituency surgery is a core part of the role, being accessible to those who may need your immediate help. , so David was doing his thing,” he said.
“It’s not practical to have airport-style security, which we sadly use for some of my surgeries, including church halls in the Houses of Parliament, when the community you represent.
“My team has to deal with a small number who believe they deserve to be abused while doing their job, but the response has received excellent support from our local police teams.”
Defense Minister James Happy, Wales’ Conservative MP, said: “We sit in libraries, churches and community centers hoping to help the constituents who need us.
“A change in safety may be necessary but nothing can fundamentally change: those surgeries are the foundation upon which to serve as MP.”