• Saturday, April 13, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Death threats have become a norm, says Labour MP

Labour party MP Preet Gill and Conservative party MP Theo Clarke claim there has been a rise in threats, but they have no plans to quit politics

Preet Kaur Gill MP

By: Shajil Kumar

An Asian-origin Labour party MP has said receiving death threats seems to have become “a norm” for her, reports BBC.

While sharing her experience on a BBC programme, Preet Gill, who represents Birmingham Edgbaston, said her job worried her “in a way I’ve never been worried before”.

This comes in the wake of the House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle’s contentious decision to alter procedure amid a vote on Gaza, citing concern over MPs’ safety.

Gill told BBC, “I think when you’re a woman, especially in Parliament, the level of misogyny and hatred and that people can actually sit down and write a direct threat to you without feeling there are going to be [any] consequences, has become part of the work that we do.”

She suspects she is getting more abuse and threats after the Gaza conflict began.

Gill said she had also been shouted at in the street.

Last year, the British Sikh MP had approached the police after receiving a threatening email.

Another guest on the BBC programme, Theo Clarke, Conservative MP for Stafford, said she walked around her constituency with a panic button “at all times”, adding the device was linked directly to the police.

In 2022, Theo Clarke received phone calls from angry constituents berating her for taking time off after the birth of her child.

She said that in addition to her personal panic button, she also had similar in the bedrooms of her constituency home.

However, both women said despite the challenges, they did not wish to leave politics.

Guards for three MPs

Meanwhile, three women MPs, who have not been named, have been provided bodyguards and chauffeur-driven cars amid rising concerns about their safety, according to the Sunday Times.

Representatives of the Conservative and Labour parties had their security upgraded after a risk assessment, the daily added.

Quoting a source, the daily said many MPs are petrified by the abuse they are facing.

Security minister Tom Tugendhat is reportedly working with the Home Office, police chiefs and parliamentary authorities to bolster the safety and security of MPs.

Recently a dentist was convicted for writing tweets threatening Brent North MP Barry Gardiner.

In his impact statement, the Labour Party MP felt the legislators were offered poor security and cited the death of two of his party colleagues in recent years – Jo Cox in 2016 and Sir David Amess in 2021.

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