Three female MPs issued with 'taxpayer-funded bodyguards and cars' amid growing safety concerns

24 February 2024, 20:34 | Updated: 24 February 2024, 20:37

Three female MPs have been issued with bodyguards and cars amid growing concern for politicians' safety
Three female MPs have been issued with bodyguards and cars amid growing concern for politicians' safety. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Three female MPs have been issued with bodyguards and driven cars amid growing concern for politicians' safety.

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The three MPs - who were not named but were cited as members of the Conservative and Labour parties - have each been provided with close protection, The Sunday Times revealed.

It comes after a risk assessment was carried out following increased security concerns, which found MPs from both major parties were "at heightened risk of attacks".

The assessment was carried out in conjunction with a secretive security organisation that provides protection for senior politicians as well as members of the royal family.

Security minister at the Home Office, Tom Tugendhat, has been working to amp up security and protection for all MPs following increased fears.

Two serving MPs - Labour's Jo Cox and Conservative Sir David Amess - have been murdered in the past eight years.

Tourists hold umbrellas against the rain as they walk in Parliament Square next to the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday
Tourists hold umbrellas against the rain as they walk in Parliament Square next to the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday. Picture: Alamy

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“Many MPs are petrified by the abuse they are facing,” a source told the publication.

The three MPs who have so far been deemed to require special security measures have been issued with close protection officers from a private security company as well as chauffeur-driven cars.

Only senior politicians such as the prime minister, home secretary, or leader of the opposition usually receive such protection.

It comes as thousands of security cameras are set to be installed in additional efforts to increase protection for MPs when at home in their constituencies.

Private security operatives have also been deployed to care for MPs during their constituency surgeries when they hold public meetings with the electorate.

MPs have also been issued with additional security advice.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Sir Lindsay Hoyle raised concern for MPs' safety. Picture: Alamy

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Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle raised serious concern for MPs' safety last week.

He drew criticism and calls to resign after going against convention during the SNP's opposition day debate on a Gaza ceasefire. However he explained that his motivation for widening the debate was fuelled by concern about MPs' security due to the intimidation suffered by some parliamentarians during the Middle East debate.

After fierce backlash over his proceeduarl decision from many MPs, Hoyle explained: "I never ever want to go through a situation where I pick up a phone to find a friend, of whatever side, has been murdered by terrorists."

"I also don't want another attack on this House. I was in the chair on that day.

"I have seen, I have witnessed, I won't share the details, but the details of the things that have been brought to me are absolutely frightening on all members of this House, on all sides.

"I have a duty of care, and I say that, and if my mistake is looking after Members I am guilty.

"It is the protection that led me to make a wrong decision but what I do not apologise (for) is the risk that has been put on all Members at the moment. I had serious meetings yesterday with the police on the issues and threats to politicians for us heading to an election."

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