Police 'could guard MPs at constituency surgeries' to keep them safe following MP's killing

Two days after Sir David Amess's killing, the community and fellow MPs are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, reports ITV News's Graham Stothard

MPs could be given police protection when they carry out constituency surgeries to keep them safe following the murder of Sir David Amess, the home secretary has said.

Priti Patel confirmed the measure was one option being considered under a "whole spectrum" of plans to better protect MPs in the wake of Sir David's killing, who was stabbed while meeting constituents on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

The home secretary said she was adamant that MPs should continue to be accessible to the public, despite the attack and the barrage of threats many have said they receive.

“This should never ever break that link between an elected representative and their democratic role, responsibility and duty to the people who elected them," Ms Patel told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme.

She added that MPs could also be asked to share their whereabouts at all times with the police in further steps to keep them free from harm.

"David would've wanted MPs to carry on" - Andrew Rosindell MP tells ITV News

Her comments came as Andrew Rosindell MP told ITV News "we cannot let evil destroy democracy" and that despite the tragedy, his late friend of four decades "would've wanted MPs to carry on doing the job for our constituencies".

"Unfortunately, we've all got threats every so often. People do behave in a very bad way and they don't like the answers we give them, or they feel we're not helping them," the MP said on Sunday.

"They get a grudge against us, they blame us for everything. This is the problem that MPs face these days - there's no easy solution to this."

Sir David Amess died on Friday after being stabbed while attending a surgery. Credit: Parliament

"This was pure evil. But we cannot let this destroy our democratic traditions in the United Kingdom, we must carry on. It's got to be business as usual, but we need to be more careful."

Mr Rosindell, an MP for neighbouring constituency Romford, said he has been in close contact with Sir David's grieving family who are assisting police with the investigation.

"The family are distraught at losing their father, Julia losing her husband," he continued.

"David was a wonderful man... it's a tragic day for all that knew him"

"I hope there's justice... David did not deserve to die like this, he was a good man," Mr Rosindell added.

Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British citizen, was arrested and is currently being questioned by counter-terror police. It has emerged that Ali's father is a former senior advisor to the Somalia Prime Minister.

Officers were granted a warrant of further detention, which allows detectives to hold the suspect until October 22.

It came as police searches thought to be related to the investigation of Sir David’s murder continued on Sunday.

Police were seen searching three properties that are believed to be linked to the investigation. Credit: PA

Officers were seen searching three separate properties in north London that are believed to be connected to the investigation.

One emerged from an address in Lady Somerset Road, north-west London, carrying several large bags marked ‘police’.

There has been a police presence at the site throughout the day, with two officers standing guard in front of the house.

Since Sir David’s death, MPs have been sharing their day-to-day experience of the threats they face, including Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy who admitted she did not feel safe when going about her Wigan constituency.

She said she was not sure that the situation was “recoverable” for public servants, following the killing of two serving MPs in the past five years, after Jo Cox was killed while on her way to meet constituents at a surgery in 2016.

Floral tributes have been left at the scene where Sir David was attacked Credit: PA

“I’m not sure that we can ever eliminate the risk but there are other things that can be done to reduce the risk,” the shadow foreign secretary told Sky News' Trevor Phillips' show.

“I think the suggestion from the Speaker about ensuring that anyone who wants or needs security at surgeries is a good idea, not least because people often know, even if we don’t advertise them, that they are happening, so they can become a magnet for people who want to come and cause trouble.”

Former Tory defence minister Tobias Ellwood suggested physical meetings with voters should be paused while security is reviewed.

Labour MP Chris Elmore told ITV News on Saturday: "You do think, am I next?

"Jo Cox was taken from us five years ago, David yesterday... both of them doing advice surgeries so it plays on your mind."