Priti Patel: MPs face ‘substantial threat’ to their safety after Amess killing

·3-min read
(PA) (PA Archive)
(PA) (PA Archive)

Intelligence officers have deemed that MPs are now facing a “substantial threat” to their safety in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess, Priti Patel has said.

The Home Secretary told the Commons on Wednesday evening a review by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre linked to MI5 has not found a “specific or imminent threat”.

But she did say the threat level to MPs is “now deemed to be substantial” and counter-terror police will ensure the “change is properly reflected in the operational posture”.

The review was launched after the Conservative representative for Southend West was killed on Friday at a surgery for his constituents.

The murder of the second MP in five years – after Jo Cox was killed in a similar situation – has sparked concern over the safety of British politicians.

Ms Patel said: “While we do not see any information or intelligence which points to any credible or specific or imminent threat, I must update the House that the threat level facing Members of Parliament is now deemed to be substantial.

“This is the same level as the current national threat to the United Kingdom as a whole, so I can assure the House that our world-class intelligence and security agencies and counter-terror police will now ensure that this change is properly reflected in the operational posture.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said it will be working closely with the Government and Parliamentary authorities to review MPs’ security measures following Patel’s announcement the threat level facing MPs is deemed to be “substantial”.

An NPCC spokesman said: “In light of this announcement, we will be working closely with Government, (police) forces and parliamentary authorities to review the security offering for MPs, ensuring a more consistent security response wherever MPs are in the country. Any recommendations made to members will need to be bespoke to their individual circumstances.

“The Parliamentary Liaison and Investigations Team (PLaIT) co-ordinate the national Operation Bridger response, working closely with parliamentary authorities and Government to reassure members and make them aware of the available advice.

“We can confirm Operation Bridger representatives in each force have individually contacted every Member of Parliament since Friday’s tragic killing of Sir David Amess to make them aware of the security arrangements available to them. Policing is in a strong position to maintain direct lines of communication with Members going forward and to increase their protective security where it is necessary and appropriate to do so.

“Many Members of Parliament have taken this immediate opportunity to reassess the bespoke security arrangements they have in place, and forces are working with them and their staff to implement any changes. We continue to strongly encourage MPs to immediately report any security concerns to their local police force in order to keep themselves, their staff and members of the public attending constituency events safe.

“Nobody should have to experience abuse or threats of harm, especially when they are simply doing their job.”

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