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Boris Johnson will pay tribute to Sir David Amess in the House of Commons on Monday as debate rages on how to significantly beef up security following the deadly attack on the Southend MP during his constituency surgery.

On Sunday evening, Amess’ family called for public unity, urging people to “put aside their differences and show kindness and love to all.” In a statement, his relatives said they were “absolutely broken” but had drawn their strength from the tributes paid to him from all walks of life.

The attack sent shockwaves through Westminster and reopened questions about MPs’ safety five years after the murder of Labor Jo Cox. Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Sunday she was considering offering police protection to MPs during their surgeries and that the use of airport-type scanners was under consideration.

Asked how quickly such measures could be put in place, Patel told Sky News that all MPs are being contacted by their local police forces. “It’s not about waiting two weeks, three weeks, four weeks. These are immediate changes and measures that are actively being put in place, and that starts with MPs. “

However, several MPs told The Guardian they feared a police presence would deter voters from attending surgeries or other public events. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said: ‘The people who come to your practice are people at their wit’s end: they’ve been abandoned by their employer or their doctor or the NHS or the welfare system, and they are often very fragile. They might well be put off by a big, beefy policeman at the door. “

Former shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who represents Hackney North, said MPs could be granted access to metal detectors or chopsticks to check voters, or plastic screens, but “If you put cops outside of our constituency council surgeries, it makes us look like state agents – and like Hackney, that’s not pretty.”

A backbench Tory stressed that resources should be directed to MPs most at risk, but that Msess likely would not have been identified as an obvious target.

Others said the security measures put in place following Cox’s murder were only partially implemented, in some cases due to a lack of police resources. Several told the Guardian they did not have the only point of contact within their local force which is supposed to be at the heart of the system.

Fictional Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “It is fair that we are looking at a range of options, to make sure we get the right balance of keeping MPs safe while doing their jobs, give them confidence in the support available and to protect the unique nature of British democracy.

A spokesperson for the parliamentary authorities, which oversee the security of MPs in cooperation with the police, said: for them. “

A 25-year-old man, Ali Harbi Ali, of British nationality, was still being questioned at a London police station on Sunday as part of an investigation by counterterrorism agents from the Met. He was arrested on Friday for murder after being arrested by officers at the crime scene in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Police can keep Ali in custody until Friday before deciding whether to charge him, under powers granted by anti-terrorism legislation. The murder was assessed to be linked to Islamist ideology due to developments in the investigation after the arrest, sources told The Guardian.

PM to lead House of Commons tributes to David Amess as family calls for unity |  UK News
Police outside a north London house appear to be linked to the suspect. Photograph: James Manning / PA

A house in Kentish Town, north London, where Ali and his family are believed to have lived, was still searched by police on Sunday. Two other addresses in the London area were raided by anti-terrorism police.

The suspect was previously known to the Prevent program, the government program to stop radicalization, but his involvement was short-lived, according to several sources. He was not on any current MI5 watch lists, sources added.

Ali’s father, Harbi Ali Kullane, is a former adviser to the Somali Prime Minister and now lives in the UK. He told reporters on Saturday he felt “very traumatized” by the violent incident.

Sources close to the investigation said on Sunday that Ali made an appointment to see Amess at his office on Friday. Details of the operation had been announced in advance on social media and elsewhere.

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle tore up the parliamentary calendar to allow MPs to spend much of Monday afternoon paying tribute to Amess. Johnson will lead a special debate where MPs can share their memories of the Member of Parliament for Essex, first elected in 1983.

Several, including Hoyle, have already made it clear that they believe the best tribute to him would be fulfilling his long-standing wish for Southend to become a town, a hope which was echoed by Amess’s family in their statement on Sunday. . “David was working hard for Southend to achieve city status. In his memory, please show your support for this campaign, ”they said.

In addition to strengthening physical security around MPs, Patel suggested the government is looking for ways to ensure that social media companies do their part to tackle what she called the “corrosive” state of online debate. .

“We can’t just apply a binary approach, but there is something very, very corrosive,” she said. “We know that social media platforms are advocating all kinds of things that harm all aspects of society,” Patel said, adding that it was important to “really close off this corrosive space where we only see appalling behavior. “.

The government’s online security bill is under scrutiny by lawmakers and calls have been made for it to be toughened. Labor would like social media executives to be personally responsible if their companies do not follow the codes of practice of the law.

Amess’ family paid tribute to her strength and courage in their statement. “He was a patriot and a man of peace. So we ask people to put aside their differences and show kindness and love to everyone. This is the only way to go. Put aside hatred and work towards unity. Regardless of race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand.

They added, “As a family we are trying to figure out why this horrible thing happened. No one should die this way. No one Please let this tragedy come out of this tragedy. We are absolutely broken, but we will survive and move on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man.


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