Former Teesside MP stepped down due to death threat, he reveals after David Amess' death

A former Teesside MP has revealed he stepped away from public office after he received a death threat from two men.

After serving his constituency of Redcar for four years, Ian Swales announced in 2014 he would not stand for re-election the following year.

The Liberal Democrat politician has now announced he did so after two men - including an ex-convict - came to his constituency office in Redcar and threatened to kill him.

"I wasn't there. I was actually in Parliament at the time, so my staff had to deal with this," Mr Swales told ITV News Tyne Tees.

"The police got involved. During this incident they said 'we know where he lives', so the police had to go and tell my wife who was at home on her own that week."

Credit: Ian Swales

The Leeds-born former MP says he felt unable to continue in the role owing to the safety of himself, his family and his staff.

The announcement comes after Southend MP David Amess was killed during a constituency surgery on Friday 15 October.

Mr Swales said he "knew [Mr Amess] well" and that last week's tragedy brought back memories of his own ordeal.

Mr Swales believes the treatment of MPs discourages others from stepping into the political realm.

He is calling on people to show more respect and thinks tougher laws may need to be introduced to reduce online hate.

MPs across the country are revealing the scale of abuse they receive.

Conservative MP for Stockton South Matt Vickers told ITV News Tyne Tees that he has received threats.

Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West Sharon Hodgson said she will continue holding constituency surgeries online "for the time being" following Mr Amess' death.

International Trade Secretary and Berwick-upon-Tweed Anne-Marie Trevelyan told LBC that had "someone arrested who threatened to burn down my house with my children in it."

Debates are underway over introducing additional measures to protect MPs. Dubbed as 'David's Law' the move would crack down on social media abuse of public figures and end online anonymity.