Stop face-to-face meetings with voters until security review complete, MP requests

16 October 2021, 09:12

Tobias Ellwood wants face to face meetings to be paused
Tobias Ellwood wants face to face meetings to be paused. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

An MP who was hailed as a hero for trying to save the life of a police officer in a past terror attack has called for politicians to suspend meeting with voters face to face.

Tobias Ellwood said constituency surgeries should be paused until a review into MPs' security arrangements is completed, after his Tory colleague Sir David Amess was fatally stabbed in Essex.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked police forces to review their arrangements for keeping politicians safe.

In a tweet on Saturday morning, Mr Ellwood said: "MP engagement with the public: This is a vital part of our work - our accessibility with the public.

"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."

Read more: Tributes left to Tory MP Sir David Amess as police declare terror incident

Read more: Home Secretary orders review of MPs' security 'with immediate effect'

Mr Ellwood, who represents Bournemouth East, was praised for his efforts to save PC Keith Palmer in the Westminster terror attack in 2017.

Sir David Amess was fatally stabbed while meeting constituents as part of his regular meetings with voters.

He was killed at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend, on Friday.

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

They are treating the incident as related to terror, and in a statement the Met said its early inquiries suggested a possible link to Islamist extremism.

The attack has led to companions with Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016, and called into question the security arrangements which surround MPs.