UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is considering offering lawmakers police protection at their surgeries, and the use of airport-style scanners was under consideration, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead tributes to Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death in an attack that is being treated as a terrorist incident by police, in the House of Commons on Monday.
This comes as debate rages about how drastically to step up security in the wake of the fatal attack on the Southend MP at his constituency surgery, the Guardian reported.
On Sunday night Amess’s family appealed for public unity, urging people to “set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all”.
In a statement, his relatives said they were “absolutely broken” but had drawn strength from the tributes to him from across the political spectrum.
The latest killing has reopened a debate about the safety of politicians as they conduct meetings with their constituents.
Many MPs insist on face-to-face meetings with constituents to discuss their problems and issues, known as a surgery, which is one of the hallmarks of political life in Britain.
The home secretary, Priti Patel, said on Sunday that she was considering offering MPs police protection at their surgeries, and the use of airport-style scanners was under consideration, it was reported.
Asked how quickly such measures could be brought in, Patel told Sky News that all MPs were being contacted by their local police forces. “This isn’t a case of let’s wait for two weeks, three weeks, four weeks. These are immediate changes, and measures that are actively being put in place, and it starts with MPs.”
She had also asked all police forces in Britain to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect following the attack.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Johnson and Labour party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, paid tribute to David Amess.
Johnson and Starmer laid flowers at the front of Belfairs Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Amess was attacked on Friday while holding a meeting with his constituents.
Following the attack, the Essex Police said a 25-year-old UK citizen was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.
Earlier on Saturday, the Metropolitan Police announced that the fatal stabbing of the lawmakers had been declared a terrorist incident, with the investigation being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.
“The early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” the force said in a statement.
As part of the investigation, police are currently carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area.
It is believed the suspect acted alone, police say.
Meanwhile, flags are flying at half-mast at 10 Downing Street and at the Houses of Parliament where Amess served as MP for Southend West in Essex.
Amess was the second MP in Britain to be murdered within five years. Yorkshire MP Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in 2016.
The murder of Amess has recalled a similar attack suffered by Labour lawmaker Jo Cox ahead of the Brexit referendum in 2016, and has prompted a review of the security of UK members of Parliament.
Earlier, Punjab-origin British Labour Party MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi on Sunday expressed sadness at the tragic killing of Sir David Amess, who last week led a cross-party Parliamentary delegation to Qatar.
“Given increasing international importance of #Qatar, including in Afghanistan, and to foster greater ties between our nations, glad to join cross-party Parliamentary delegation last week, led by Sir David Amess, who was sadly brutally taken away from us upon his return to the UK,” Dhesi informed in a tweet.
In his earlier tweet, Dhesi said: “Having spent past week with Sir David Amess, I’m numbed that a gentleman of enormous experience, intellect and warmth has been taken away.”
“MPs must be able to serve without fear of attack. Will miss his smile and sense of humour. Heartfelt condolences to his family. May he RIP.”
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