By: Chandrashekar Bhat
LABOUR MP Preet Kaur Gill said she was forced to step up her security after receiving a “direct threat” by email asking her to “watch your back”.
The Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston told GB News last Saturday (4) she was worried about her family’s safety as she went about her work, holding “surgery” meetings with her local constituents.
“It was very direct. It is a worry because I’m with my daughters in the constituency all the time. My family live there. It really puts into context the kind of job that you do,” the shadow secretary for international development told the channel.
“This latest direct threat has worried me. As a woman, when you put yourself forward and you want to address injustices and you care about issues that affect your constituents, you’re then faced with people who think it’s okay to say this sort of stuff to you.
“I could not believe that this person used their place of work email to make that threat,” she said.
“Normally, most people would probably use an alias or try different ways of sort of creating a hate campaign. I’ve had huge amounts of hate campaigns created against me through WhatsApp groups too,” she added.
Gill, 50, revealed that she had informed West Midlands Police about the threat and uses a bodyguard for security.
“It’s something I discuss with my team. I worry not just about my safety but about theirs. I don’t want to restrict my surgeries, don’t want to go to an appointment-based system.
“I want to be able to be open and be in my community and make sure people feel they can have that access to myself,” she said.
Being the first female Sikh MP in the parliament can be “quite isolating” in terms of support, Gill said.
“And so, sometimes I think that is really quite tough as a woman facing so much kind of hate and criticism when you are trying to do something good,” she added.