'None of us want to put up barriers to people coming to see us,' says Stephen Timms MP

Stephen Timms MP has insisted changes made to security after the death of Jo Cox don't deter the public from visiting their MPs.

The MP for East Ham was stabbed in 2010, but warned against making security obstructive

Friday, June 17, 2016

Stephen Timms MP has insisted changes made to security after the death of Jo Cox mustn't deter the public from visiting their MPs.

Members of Parliament have been urged to contact police to review their security after the death of the MP for Batley and Spen yesterday.

Timms, the MP for East Ham, survived an attempt on his own life in 2010, suffering two stab wounds in an attack by Islamic extremist Roshonara Choudhry. 

"There are some similarities in the circumstances in what happened to me and happened to Jo," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "I don't think it's clear exactly what happened, it sounds as though she was outside her surgery when she was attacked.

"Once we do know, there are questions all of us need to think about and some lessons we need to learn for the future."

Timms pointed out the need for balance between security and ensuring constituents have a pleasant experience.

"After I was attacked, the question was put to me, 'would you like a metal detector in your surgery?'," he added. "The problem with doing this is it makes going to see your MP a grim experience. 

"I don't think any of us want to put up barriers to people coming to see us, we want it to be a pleasant experience because these are the people who will be voting for us. 

"So there are pretty tight limits on what you can do if you want to maintain the idea of being able to raise an issue with your MP.

"It's absolutely vital we don't make changes which robs us of this feature of our political system."