Priti Patel vows to ensure MP surgeries can be kept open
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In the wake of Sir David’s killing, local police forces are contacting every MP to discuss their personal safety and the security of any events they plan to attend. The Home Secretary Priti Patel was questioned on whether face-to-face meetings with MPs would come to an end. She said: “We are open to surgeries, doing our job. We will continue to do that.
“David was a dear friend of mine and a loyal friend and colleague, a man of the people.
“He was killed serving his own constituents and constituency members.
“We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy.
“We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected a democracy.”
However, a former Tory minister has called for the meetings to be suspended pending a security review.
The call comes as the longest continuously serving female MP, Harriet Harman, said she would be writing to the Prime Minister urging him to back a Speaker’s Conference to look into what needs to change to ensure parliamentarians are safe in their constituencies.
Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, said in-person meetings with voters should be paused while MPs await the results of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s call for police forces to review security arrangements for elected representatives.
The chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, who was hailed as a hero for his attempts to save the life of Pc Keith Palmer during the Westminster terror attack, tweeted: “MP engagement with the public … is a vital part of our work – our accessibility with the public.
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“But understandable huge anxiety amongst MPs now.
“Until the Home Secretary’s review of MP security is complete I would recommend a temporary pause in face-to-face meetings.”
But former Cabinet minister David Davis said suspending public meetings with MPs would be “a terrible reflection of what David stood for”.
He told Sky News: “I don’t think we should do that. I’m sorry, I disagree with Tobias on that.
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“I don’t think David would (agree) either.
“Sure, we should be cautious, maybe we should do things to ensure the people who come to see us are bona fide, but I think actually pausing it would be a bad idea.
“It would be a terrible reflection of what David stood for – David himself was the ultimate constituency MP. You can see that in the response of people in his constituency.”
Ms Harman said there should be a parliamentary conference to review security arrangement in constituencies.
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