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Tory MP wears stab jacket to meet constituents

A Conservative MP said she wears a stab-proof jacket when meeting constituents, as she warned of the scale of abuse facing politicians.

Virginia Crosbie said that, following the murder of MP Sir David Amess, who was fatally stabbed during a constituency surgery in October 2021, she wears the protective garment for face-to-face meetings with local voters.

Downing Street described such reports as “concerning” and said that the Government would take “every appropriate measure” to protect MPs.

Ms Crosbie, who represents Ynys Mon in Wales, told GB News: “I have been in difficult situations. I have surgeries, I do face-to-face surgeries where I wear a stab jacket, obviously following the murder of David Amess.

“And also, I have security protection as well. I think it’s important I have direct contact with my constituents. And, unfortunately, this is one of the things I have to do to ensure that I can actually do the job that I was elected to do.”

Finchley Tory MP Mike Freer has previously said he and his staff had decided to wear stab vests and carry panic alarms for constituency surgeries.

Ms Crosbie, who was first elected in December 2019, has spoken before about the threats and abuse she has received, and said things have not improved for MPs.

“Absolutely not. If anything, it’s even worse. And it’s not just myself – it’s a lot of other, particularly female, MPs. Even before we’ve had breakfast many of us have received one or two threats.”

She called for more “accountability” on social media.

“I think there’s an awful lot more that we can do in terms of social media and abuse. I think there needs to be more accountability.

“The reality is people can turn to social media with impunity. I believe Twitter accounts should be verified, and on Facebook there needs to be fines, and there needs to be fines on some of these social media companies for allowing this content.”

But Ms Crosbie said she would still urge people, especially women, to enter politics.

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Sir David Amess was murdered during a constituency surgery in October 2021 (Chris McAndrew/PA)

However, it comes as other MPs raised concerns that another politician could be killed before the safety of parliamentarians is improved.

Conservative MP James Sunderland told the Times: “I was the last MP to see David Amess.”

He said he feared that Sir David and Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016, “won’t be the last”.

“Heaven forbid it happens again, but it’s a question of when, not if, and what we have to do is do everything in our power to prepare us for those situations.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The safety of MPs is very important.

“There is a great deal of work that goes on both across government and with the parliamentary authorities on this.

“The government — mainly the Home Office — will take every appropriate measure to ensure the safety of MPs.”