Anna Soubry re-issues call for better police protection after member of staff 'abused on way to Parliament'

Anna Soubry has renewed calls for police to better protect MPs and staff after one of her colleagues was verbally abused outside Parliament.

Remain-supporting Ms Soubry said a member of her team was called "spineless", followed by a profanity, as he approached Westminster on Wednesday morning.

Speaking in the Commons, the Tory MP warned that if the abuse continued it would put people off of working for Parliamentarians.

She called on the Metropolitan Police to be more proactive in protecting MPs from members of the public protesting outside the Commons.

Her comments came after Ms Soubry herself was subjected to aggressive behaviour, where demonstrators labelled her a "Nazi".

Ms Soubry was followed and shouted at by demonstrators last week.

Last weekend, Scotland Yard said they had arrested a man in connection with the alleged harassment of Ms Soubry.

Speaking of the latest incident, Ms Soubry said police officers had not been present when the incident occurred near to Portcullis House.

"Some of us have broad shoulders," she said.

"But it can't be right that people are standing outside this place... this man who abused my member of staff had been spoken to on three occasions this morning by police officers."

She added: " "I am grateful to the police who keep us safe and I don't doubt that they want to do a good job.

"But unless the Metropolitan Police, at the most senior level, now do their job and make sure that our staff have exactly the same rights as any other worker in any other business, trade and profession, we will have a situation where our members of staff will simply no longer work for us."

Speaker John Bercow condemned the "vile abuse" and said he had received assurances from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

Police officers would be taking up "an increased presence and changed mindset as to pro-active measures", he said.