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MPs’ Staff Demand Self-Defence Training In Wake Of David Amess’ Murder

  • October 21, 2021

They made the comments after Southend West MP David Amess was fatally stabbed as he held a constituency surgery on Friday last week. 

One assistant working for a Tory MP said everyone wanted to get back to the job and “won’t be deterred”.

But they added: “There is an appetite for self defence training, and many staffers have said that more sessions should be provided and sooner.

“I think a refresh of security and terror training should be provided – it is my experience that I did not receive either once I joined parliament and no written information either.

“I think if we want them we should also be given panic alarms.”  

One staffer working for a male Labour MP said everyone was still in shock and they had assumed after the murder of Jo Cox it would not happen again. 

“I think it’s hard for the MPs to say but the vilification of them means all communications are fair game and they just have to take the abuse,” they added.

“We all really worry about [our MP] and the effect the abuse has on him, but you can’t protect them from it.

“I feel worse for the constituency staff, sadly I think the days of an open office like a shop front people can drop into are now well gone.

“I wouldn’t feel right asking any of our staff to put themselves in that position. My heart goes out to the Tory staffers it really does, I can’t believe we are back here again.”

Home secretary Priti Patel has said she is considering offering police protection for MPs at their constituency surgeries and has commissioned a review to “close the gaps” in security.

The speaker of the house of commons Lindsay Hoyle has also said he is reviewing MPs’ security “at pace”.

A UK parliament spokesperson said: “The ability for members and members staff to perform their parliamentary duties safely both on and off the estate is fundamental to our democracy.

“We work closely with the Met’s parliamentary liaison and investigations team, and through them, local police forces, who are responsible for the security of MPs and their staff away from the parliamentary estate, to ensure MPs are kept as safe as possible and are able to perform their duties.

“We cannot comment on MPs’ security arrangements or advice for obvious reasons, but these are kept under continuous review.” 

Separately, all members of the parliamentary community have access to a range of services – including a confidential 24/7 support and counselling service.

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