MPs Consider Constituency Surgery Security Measures

Debate this morning is turning to the security measures employed by MPs. Colleagues note that Jox Cox’s constituency surgery at Birstall Library yesterday was an “open surgery”. The time, date and location were advertised on her website:

Thursday 16th June – 1pm until 2pm

@ Birstall Library and Information Centre

Market Street, Birstall, WF17 9EN

Some MPs already refuse to hold open surgeries and do not publish times and locations, instead requiring constituents to make an appointment before they are given details. Expect more to follow – MPs tell Guido they want some level of vetting or checking of names against the electoral roll. This is a difficult square to circle – accessibility to MPs is important at a time when the public feel politicians are ever more out of touch. It makes Jo Cox’s openness all the more admirable…

If you speak to any MP, especially female MPs, they will have stories about intimidation and aggression they have faced at constituency surgeries. Most MPs will have had to get the police involved at some point. Guido has lost count of the number of staffers who have had physical altercations with lunatics at surgeries. One MP tells Guido that US Congressman are given police protection and they feel British MPs – particularly women MPs – should too. It is a crazy world, there will always be nutters in every constituency who harass MPs and their staff in person. It is difficult to legislate for – but expect new measures to be brought in following yesterday’s events…




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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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