MP committed to meeting constituents in person, despite colleague’s killing

WOKING MP Jonathan Lord says he remains committed to meeting his constituents in person, following nationwide security concerns after the killing of Sir David Amess last week.

“I will, of course, be paying very close attention to any updated advice or offer of support from the police, or any other relevant professionals engaged by Parliament or the Government, with regard to the security and safety of my staff, myself and all of those constituents who meet with me,” he told the News & Mail.

MP for Woking Jonathan Lord has said he is committed to holding in person meetings with his constituents in spite of nationwide security concerns after the killing of fellow MP Sir David Amess

“The important thing is for my constituents to be able to continue to meet with me in person, for them to be able to discuss matters with me in strict confidence, and for everyone to be safe during the whole process.

“I had intended to resume them any week now after having largely conducted them by Zoom and telephone call during COVID, but I’ve decided to delay the return to in-person meetings for two to three weeks until the police have put forward any recommendations regarding the security of surgeries.”

The MP, who has held the Woking seat since 2010, said it was important to stay vigilant.

“I’ve been very fortunate that I have never felt in any physical danger in my time as MP for Woking, but there have been occasions when staff at my constituency office have felt threatened.

“Security in Parliament has been beefed up considerably and I think most MPs now feel very safe there. In the constituencies, though, it is different, and I know many MPs have received threats and there have been unpleasant incidents.

“I can’t comment on whether I will change my behaviour or protocols at surgery until I’ve read the police recommendations, but I will, in future, not announce which events I will attend and when.

“I always have a full diary of engagements, whether they are at schools, charities or elsewhere, and I will continue to fulfil them, but I will be a little more careful and not publicise my commitments too widely beforehand.

“When I first started out as an MP I would often hold surgeries in supermarkets, which anyone could attend. We would advertise them on the doors a few weeks in advance and people with an issue to discuss could simply drop by,” he said.

“But the police advice then became to hold surgeries by appointment only, and that is what I do now. When I return to face-to-face surgeries it will remain by appointment only.

“I knew Sir David Amess very well indeed. A lovely guy, a fantastic constituency MP and Parliamentarian. I’ll miss his smile and our conversations. I have sent my condolences to his family.”

Surrey County Council has reissued safety guidance around conducting public advice surgeries and will be talking to members about their security after Sir David’s murder.

Helyn Clack, chair of the council, said: “I will be writing to the family of Sir David Amess to offer our sincere condolences for his sad and shocking death.

“People like Sir David, who dedicate their lives to public service, should be respected and cherished, and should never feel the threat of violence for doing their best to help others.

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