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Police could guard MP surgeries to keep them safe, Patel says

·2-min read
Police could guard MP surgeries to keep them safe, Patel says

Police could be called in to guard MP surgeries to keep them safe following the murder of Sir David Amess at a constituency event, the Home Secretary has said.

Priti Patel said “protection” for MPs while they are holding talks with constituents was one of the options being considered under a “whole spectrum” of measures to address safety concerns in the wake of the Southend West MP’s killing on Friday.

It came as Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy admitted she did not feel safe when going about her Wigan constituency and said she was not sure that the situation was “recoverable” for public servants, following the killing of two serving MPs in the past five years.

Conservative Sir David, 69, who had been an MP since 1983, was meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Friday afternoon when he was stabbed multiple times in a frenzied attack.

His death comes after the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox was murdered in 2016 as she was on her way to a constituency surgery.

Ms Patel said discussions were under way with MPs about extra measures that might be required, with each representative contacted by their local police force since the attack in Essex.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said MPs could be asked to share their whereabouts with police about all business-related visits (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
Home Secretary Priti Patel said MPs could be asked to share their whereabouts with police about all business-related visits (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

The Cabinet minister told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme that the options being considered included that “when you hold your surgeries, could you have officers or some kind of protection while you’re holding your surgery?”

MPs could also be asked to share their whereabouts at all times with the police in a bid to keep them free from harm, she said.

Asked if she would consider airport-style security, Ms Patel said: “That would be with the police and the House authorities. There are lots of things under consideration already.”

Police search a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Sir David (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Police search a house in north London, thought to be in relation to the death of Sir David (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

It came as police searches thought to be related to the investigation of Sir David’s murder continued on Sunday.

At least three officers wearing blue gloves were seen working inside a flat in a converted property in Kentish Town, north London, on Sunday morning.

A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene of the attack in Essex on suspicion of murder. He has since been detained under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and is in custody at a London police station.

A warrant of further detention, which allows detectives to hold the man until October 22, was granted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

The name the police have for the suspect is Ali Harbi Ali, the PA news agency understands.

Official sources told PA he is believed to be a British national with Somali heritage.

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