MP to continue virtual constituency surgeries until safety review complete
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A Suffolk MP has announced she will only hold virtual constituency surgeries until a safety review has been carried out in the wake of Sir David Amess' killing.
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, has been holding virtual surgeries since the start of the pandemic and was in the process of returning to in-person meetings with constituents.
But now she says she plans to continue with online appointments until a review of politicians' safety has been carried out.
She said: "I will continue to remain accessible to constituents, carrying out visits which I thoroughly enjoy and holding surgeries.
"I will however for the time being continue to hold my surgeries online, which I have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic, they are often more efficient and accessible way for dealing with individuals' problems.
"It is right that the Parliamentary authorities are carrying out a review into Members and Members’ staff security, so we are able to continue doing our jobs in the safest way possible.”
It comes after Suffolk MPs revealed the disgusting abuse they suffered from constituents and members of the public, with Mrs Churchill saying she was particularly targeted due to her gender.
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She said: "Last week’s tragic murder of a second MP in five years has once again highlighted the need for kindness and compassion in politics.
"I receive abuse on social media and via email on a regular basis, often from anonymous accounts. Much of the abuse is misogynistic and I am targeted simply because I am a female MP.
"I try not to pay much attention to the abuse, as I would much rather focus on the job at hand, representing the wonderful people of the Bury St Edmunds constituency, which stretches from Needham Market to the edge of Diss."