It’s ‘vital’ that public can speak to MPs easily

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has this week welcomed a review of MPs’ security following the killing of Sir David Amess.

However, the Scottish Secretary insisted that it is imperative that members of the public can still easily speak to their local MP.

Mr Jack revealed that he got the shock news from the Prime Minister about Sir David Amess’ brutal death.

Mr Amess – who was a Conservative MP for Southend West – was stabbed multiple times last Friday during a routine constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and later died at the scene.

The incident has sent shockwaves through UK politics and led to many elected representatives fearing for their safety.

MP Jack said: “I think it is right that we review MPs security and that of their staff. We all need to be safe going to work, and I am grateful to the local police for their ongoing support.

“But it is vital that members of the public can still speak to their MP easily – that is a vital part of our democracy.”

Alister had gathered in Bristol with other Westminster politicians for a regional Cabinet meeting when the incident occurred.

“The Prime Minister told us the sad news before cancelling the meeting,” he said.

“I was absolutely shocked by his brutal death, but also hugely saddened.

“I knew Sir David Amess well from the House of Commons. He was someone who was always incredibly kind, one of the best people in the House of Commons.

“In particular, he took time to support new members of the House, and I was myself very grateful for his wisdom and experience.

“My thoughts are with David’s family at this terrible time.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said they are also “working closely with UK policing colleagues to ensure all MSPs and MPs are aware of relevant personal safety advice”.

The Scottish Parliament’s head of security has written to all MSPs to remind them of arrangements in place for their safety and that of their staff.

The man arrested by police following the killing of the MP Sir David Amess has been named as Ali Harbi Ali. It is understood he is a British man of Somali heritage.

The 25-year-old is being held under the Terrorism Act and officers have until Friday to question him.

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