Following the news earlier that MP Sir David Amess had been stabbed at a constituency surgery, Essex Police have confirmed his death. The most tragic of news. Guido’s thoughts are with his family and friends.
Last year Sir David published a book, Ayes & Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster, which included the following passage about the safety and security of MPs following Jo Cox.
“There can be no doubt that as a result of these heightened security concerns most Members have modified or changed the way they interact with the general public. The Commons authorities have taken threats very seriously and have issued guidance for the safety and security of not only Members, but their families. This includes security in their own home. I myself have over the years experienced nuisance from the odd member of the general public at my own property. We regularly check our locks and many others have CCTV cameras installed but probably the most significant change has been with constituency surgeries.
The British tradition has always been that Members of Parliament regularly make themselves available for constituents to meet them face to face at their surgeries. Now advice has been given to be more careful when accepting appointments. We are advised to never see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure. In short, these increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians.”
Rest in peace…