Sally-Ann Hart responds to murder of MP

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye

Following the tragic death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in Essex, concerns about the safety and security of local MPs have risen.

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye since 2019 told Rye News: “The appalling murder of Sir David Amess MP has horrified and shocked the country, and I know that this loss is being felt keenly by all of my colleagues across Parliament, no matter an individual’s party affiliation or political views.

Sir David Amess

“Whilst the individual that has perpetrated this attack is entirely responsible for their actions, it has thrown into sharp relief the abuse and vitriol that MPs across the United Kingdom face on a regular basis as they go about their day-to-day work representing their constituents, particularly on social media.

“I have not yet spoken to one of my colleagues who does not have a recent example of personal abuse directed towards them and this can – and does – veer towards intimidation, threatening behaviour, and as was tragically seen on Friday, physical harm.

“In light of Sir David’s murder and the backdrop of abuse that MPs regularly face, I welcome that the home secretary has asked police forces to review the safety measures in place for MPs, including when at advice surgeries. Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of democratically elected representatives, and I welcome that the House of Commons Commission has met this week to consider the issue further.

“However, I know that many of my colleagues, myself included, recognise the incredibly important role that face-to-face engagement with constituents at advice surgeries plays in preserving and bolstering British democracy. New measures that can mitigate the dangers posed to MPs at surgeries are rightfully being considered, but they must also be balanced with an understanding of the crucial function that in-person and accessible surgeries fulfil.”

Sir David had served as an MP for 38 years, initially in Basildon, before assuming representation for Southend West in 1997. The father-of-five was heavily involved in the long-running campaign to make Southend a city.

Image Credits: Facebook , Chris McAndrew .


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