18:54 GMT27 February 2021
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    424
    Subscribe

    More than 125 British lawmakers have applied for extra security for their homes and offices, including bomb proof letter boxes, following a dramatic increase in verbal abuse, attacks and threats against MPs.

    Since April, 126 MPs have asked the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to pay for costs associated with added protection, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

    The rise in requests for more security protection preceded the death of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed in her northern English constituency in June, just days before the UK's referendum on EU membership, which has been cited an event that led to an increase in abuse being directed towards lawmakers.

    New Locks, Panic Alarms and CCTV

    Following an increase in online abuse and death threats, a number of politicians have installed CCTV equipment, panic alarms and new locks to combat the increased security threat.

    Among those MPs taking extra safety precautions was Labour politician Jess Phillips, who changed the locks on the front door of her house after receiving numerous threats and a mock picture of her dying.

    ​Meanwhile in March, an Iraqi man was accused of threatening to kill staff in the office of MP Paula Sherriff and other college students if he didn't receive a British passport. While the man successfully argued against the accusations, he did plead guilty to affray over the incident.

    The threats have also turned into attacks, with Labour MP Angela Eagle, who was previously in the running for the party's leadership, being forced to cancel constituency surgeries after her office was vandalized.

    ​The attack was also accompanied by a series of threats after Eagle announced she was challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour party leadership.

    Fears Over Rise in Xenophobia

    The increase in security claims comes amid a concerning time for British MPs, with Britain's turbulent political scene leading to an increase in racist and xenophobic abuse within certain parts of the country.

    Following an increase in attacks, the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for swift government action to combat such attacks and threats.

    ​"The government must take swift and decisive action to tackle racist and anti-immigrant sentiments and incidents. While statements condemning hate crime are welcome, statements alone are not sufficient," the union said.

    Related:

    Labor Leader Corbyn Calls Jo Cox Murder ‘Extreme Political Violence’
    UN Geneva Chief Blasts EU for Pandering to Xenophobia Amid Refugee Crisis
    Thousands of Refugee Supporters Rally Against Racism Across UK
    Tags:
    MPs, death threats, threats, violence, racism, xenophobia, British Trade Union Congress (TUC), Angela Eagle, Jo Cox, Europe, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion