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MP Virginia Crosbie wears stab vest to meet constituents

A Welsh Conservative MP has said she wears a stab-proof jacket when meeting constituents. Virginia Crosbie, who represents Ynys Mon, said she started wearing the protective garment after the murder of her colleague Sir David Amess in 2021.

Sir David was stabbed multiple times at a surgery in his Southend West constituency in Essex. Ms Crosbie, who was first elected in December 2019, has spoken before about the threats and abuse she has received.

In April, another Conservative MP, Mike Freer, told The Times that he and his staff had started wearing stab vests and carrying panic alarms.

As well as the murder of Sir David Amess, Ali Harbi Ali was also convicted of preparing attacks on Mr Freer and Michael Gove.

The UK Parliament said security arrangements are kept under continuous review.
Ms Crosbie, who was elected in 2019, told BBC Wales that, like other MPs, she doesn’t feel safe.

The MP previously told BBC Wales that a death threat was sent to her constituency office in Holyhead last year.

She said she was aware of other colleagues who avoid face-to-face surgeries for security reasons.

But she said: “I’m really keen to go out and about meeting my constituents, having face-to-face surgeries and listening to their concerns and their problems and that’s the best way that I can help them.

“I don’t want to have to wear a stab jacket, and I don’t want to have to have police protection, and I don’t want to have to tell the police where I am every moment but the reality is, if I’m going to keep safe I need to take precautions.

“After the tragic death of Sir David Amess, which was in October 2021, and the senseless murder of Jo Cox, we’ve lost two MPs in in seven years – I think it really is important that we’re aware of the situation, that I do everything that I can to ensure that I can do my job safely.”
Ali Harbi Ali was convicted last April of the murder of Sir David Amess.

The IS fanatic had decided to attack Sir David after a search on Twitter showed he was due to hold a constituency surgery. The attack came five years after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

Conservative MP James Sunderland told the Times that it was a question of “when, not if” an attack on an MP happens again.

Mr Sunderland, who said he was the last MP to see Sir David, said: “What we have to do is do everything in our power to prepare us for those situations.”

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 (PLaIT), 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 because we would not wish to compromise the safety of MPs, parliamentary staff or members of the public, but these are kept under continuous review.

Source: BBC

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