Labour MP warns about lack of support for politicians who get death threats

A Labour MP has warned there is not enough security for MPs who have received death threats.

Barry Sheerman said he had become a person who “watches where he walks” as a result of intimidation and did not feel like there was “much there on the receiving end” by way of support for him.

The Huddersfield MP shared in December his experience of being threatened by a man who said he would come to London and kill him, which he said left him feeling “absolutely haunted”.

Despite his warnings, he still appeared to believe that not enough was being done to protect and support MPs on the receiving end of such threats when he spoke in the Commons on Thursday.

Mr Sheerman told MPs: “I know some Members of the House will know that I had a death threat. A gentleman was arrested and went into a mental institution.

“When he was released the House authorities and the Met Police met me and said this gentleman is now out, and he knows where you live.”

The MP said this was the “last I heard” from the authorities, adding: “I am a person now that watches where he walks, doesn’t stand by the side of the Tube, I will alter my way of coming into the House.”

Addressing Conservative MP Sir Charles Walker, who represents the House of Commons Commission, Mr Sheerman added: “It is very stressful and I have to say all that has been said by him, I know he believes it and he is passionate about it, but it doesn’t feel like there is very much there on the receiving end.”

“I will endeavour to meet with him next week, with security officials, to go through his concerns one by one.”

Sir Charles had earlier described the security of MPs as a “cause close to my heart”, after listing the support that was available to Members, including extra security and counselling services.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle added: “Security of all members really matters. It is taken very seriously in this House. It is ongoing and I am having serious conversations about what we do going forward.

“What I can tell you is we have some of the best people working on it, and I would like to thank them for what they do.”

The continued warnings about MPs security comes the day after Sir Lindsay suggested his decision to allow multiple votes in a debate on a Gaza ceasefire was in part motivated by “the security of all members”, suggesting he was concerned some MPs could be subject to intimidation as a result of their views on the Middle East conflict.

Tory backbencher Tobias Ellwood’s home was targeted earlier this month by pro-Palestine protesters, with the police warning his family to “stay away” from the property as “arriving through that crowd would’ve antagonised the situation”.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –