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David Amess killing: Priti Patel considering measures to boost security of lawmakers

Among the steps that the UK home secretary could announce, two are regular police presence at ‘surgeries’ and the removal of anonymity on social media, a media report said.
File photo of UK home secretary Priti Patel with MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death on Friday (twitter.com/pritipatel)
Published on Oct 17, 2021 03:39 PM IST
Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Priti Patel, the UK's home secretary, is likely to introduce additional measures for the security of British parliamentarians following Friday's fatal stabbing of Conservative MP David Amess in his constituency of Southend West in Essex. Patel, however, also insisted that despite the attack, MPs should not be “cowed down” from fulfilling their duties as elected representatives of the public, a media report said.

Also Read | British lawmaker David Amess stabbed to death

According to the report, published by The Independent, the home secretary could order a regular police presence at weekly “surgeries” (meetings between lawmakers and their constituents) like the one during which Amess was stabbed to death. It also stated that the British Police have contacted all 650 MPs in the wake of the killing to offer them reassurance and support.

A separate report by the publication stated that she could also order the removal of the right to anonymity on social media to stop “cruel and relentless” abuse of politicians.

“Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of our country's elected representatives and I will provide updates in due course,” Patel had tweeted after Amess' killing, which has been declared as a terrorist incident by the UK Police.

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According to investigators, the suspect in this case is a 25-year-old British national of Somali origin, identified as Ali Harbi Ali, the son of Harbi Ali Kullane, a former communications advisor to the Prime Minister of Somalia. Ali is reported to have planned the fatal stabbing for more than a week, and to have booked an appointment to be at the surgery.

Also Read | UK MP David Amess murder: Suspect of Somali descent, planned the stabbing for over a week

The Southend West constituency falls in the town of Leigh-on-Sea, in London's east. Amess had represented this seat since 1997.

(With agency inputs)

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