Questions over safety of politicians after murder of MP Sir David Amess

Conservative MP Sir David Amess has lost his life after being stabbed today - October 15 - at a cons

Conservative MP Sir David Amess has lost his life after being stabbed today - October 15 - at a constituency surgery. - Credit: PA

Questions have been asked about the safety of politicians following the murder of MP Sir David Amess

The leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cllr Bridget Smith, said the abuse has become worse over recent years and she has stopped using Facebook because of it. 

She said: “I came off Facebook. I got trolled, it was really nasty, it wasn’t death threats, but it was not pleasant. I do still use Twitter and I do take a lot of stick and abuse on there. 

“Do I think I am immune to someone turning up on my doorstep and doing something awful? No, I don’t think I am immune. 

Cllr Smith feels women are on the receiving end of a “different sort of abuse”, and that she has been spoken to in ways she feels a man would not have been spoken to. 

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I’m very lucky, I have very rarely felt anything other than safe doing my job. 

“I have been a councillor for a long time and certainly it is something I feel more concerned about than I did 20 years ago.” 

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Deputy leader Eliza Meschini said that while she felt safe there have been times when people became aggressive towards her. 

She said: “Face to face a few times people have been quite aggressive, it’s something that happens when you knock on doors. 

“People can come up to you and be quite aggressive and unpleasant, but I never really thought it would result in physical harm. 

“Online I do get abusive messages, I have never had threats as such, but I do know people who have.” 

 Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert, said they will be having discussions about councillor safety. 

He said: “We will particularly look at the issue of surgeries, where people might be isolated. 

“The council is looking hard at security, but we need to be there for people, we give out phone numbers and personal details. 

“It is difficult and it is the case now most women councillors don’t give out their address. 

“It is important residents know us and get access to talk to us.”