Terror threat level faced by MPs deemed 'substantial', says Priti Patel

The Home Secretary has asked cops to review security arrangements for MPs in the wake of Sir David Amess’ murder

Home Secretary Priti Patel speaking in the House of Commons

The terror threat level facing MPs has been raised to “substantial”, Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed.

Speaking in the Commons in the wake of the brutal murder of MP Sir David Amess, the Cabinet Minister said the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre had carried out a review of MPs’ safety.

The centre’s experts found MPs face a “substantial” terror threat – the same level the UK faces as a whole.

“While we do not see any information or intelligence which points to any credible or specific or imminent threat, I must update the House that the threat level facing Members of Parliament is now deemed to be substantial,” said Ms Patel.

“This is the same level as the current national threat to the United Kingdom as a whole, so I can assure the House that our world-class intelligence and security agencies and counter-terror police will now ensure that this change is properly reflected in the operational posture.”

David Amess was stabbed to death last last week


Richard Barker/REX/Shutterstock)

Sir David was stabbed multiple times in what is thought have to have been an Islamist terror incident at a constituency surgery at a church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested by counter terror cops.

The Southend West MP is the second MP to have been killed in recent years, following the murder of Jo Cox in a far right terror incident in 2016.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “I know that in the face of such unspeakable hatred we stand united and unshakeable in this House, that those who use violence in an attempt to divide us shall never win and we refuse to be intimated by these dark forces. And yes, that goes for the vile individual or individuals who erected a noose in Parliament Square today.”

He added: “We must now take necessary steps not just for our own safety but for our staff and that of our constituents as well.”

Ms Patel also encouraged MPs’ staff to seek support on offer to them to ensure they “feel assured about their own safety and security” both inside and outside Westminster.

She also said the Government is also looking at the security of other elected representatives, such as councillors.

The Home Secretary said: “There are public servants across society and our country who day in and day out do great work representing their communities, but importantly, delivering public services.

“They themselves have been subject to abuse, for example, and that is part of the wider work that is taking place. In terms of the wider review, which is taking place within policing, that is all linked to Operation Bridger, and rightly so, because that is a structure that was set up, and has been set up, and is effective, and we are constantly working to enhance that.

Labour MP Jo Cox was killed in 2016



“Our role is to close down any perceived gaps around a security, or even risks around MPs and wider assessments that may materialise.”

She added: “It is not for us to publicly and openly discuss our security measures. We protect ourselves by working with agencies and policing, we act in a responsible way in terms of the advice and the guidance that we are given.”

Amid calls for radical reform of social media, the Home Secretary hit out at the “cruel environment of the online space”, telling MPs: “It has become far too permissive for too much cruelty and harm and it’s not just levelled and leveraged towards elected Members of Parliament.

“We see children, different people of different races, religious groups being targeted and affected by some of the most awful, barbaric statements. That is what has to stop and change.”

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