Sir Keir Starmer pays tribute to Sir David Amess
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Labour MP Chris Bryant received death threats from an individual, after calling for people to be kinder after the Conservative MP was stabbed to death on Friday. A tweet he posted on Saturday said: “Let’s all send a kind message on Twitter today to a politician we disagree with. Let’s eliminate the negative.”
Then on Sunday he posted: “You only have to look through some of the responses to this tweet to see the poison that is infecting British politics. And now I’ve had yet again another death threat.”
South Wales Police said a 76-year-old man, from Pontycymer, Bridgend county has now been arrested on suspicion of malicious communications.
Following the death of Sir David Amess, Mr Bryant told BBC Wales he did not know of any MP who had not received at least one death threat.
The Rhondda MP also opened up about the abuse he receives, claiming he has been the recipient of malicious post every year he has been an MP.
He told WalesOnline: “Over the years I have had a lot of death threats. They happen about four to five times a year.
“People have been arrested, cautioned by the police and one has gone to jail for it.
“The year before it was anti-vaxxers, the year before we had Brexit campaigners plastering the word ‘traitor’ all over my office.”
The MP also spoke of how both Sir David Amess’ death, and the 2016 murder of MP Jo Cox have impacted politics.
When speaking to Claire Summers on Radio Wales Breakfast, he said that MPs were often reluctant to go to police to report abuse because they knew how busy officers are.
He said: “I hope everyone dials down the nastiness in politics. It’s been six years of everyone calling each other traitor. That needs to end, we need to be nicer to each other.”
Mr Bryant also said his Rhondda constituency office has been targeted in the past twelve months by an “angry mob” of protesters.
He also said the “steady stream of horrific abuse” has risen in British politics in recent years, adding that it is “more sour now than I’ve known it in 20 years”.
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It comes after the death of Conservative MP Sir David, who was stabbed at his constituency surgery in Essex on Friday.
Police were called to the scene in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm on Friday, where they found the 69-year-old injured.
His death is being treated as a terrorist incident by the Metropolitan Police.
A 25-year-old has been arrested in connection to the incident, and remains in custody for police questioning.
As a result of the attack, Priti Patel has now launched a review into MPs’ safety.
The Home Secretary said local police forces had already contacted all MPs to advise them about measures to improve their safety.
She also said a review is taking place involving the House of Commons authorities and the police.
When pressed about how long the review could take, she told Trevor Phillips on Sky News: “This isn’t a case of let’s wait for two weeks, three weeks, four weeks; these are immediate protective measures.”
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