Politicians get security alarms and are warned not to go out canvassing alone or after dark as they fear doorstep Brexit anger from voters
- Security alarms will trigger an immediate armed police response when activated
- Antoinette Sandbach is one politician who was given a personal attack device
- The PM was recently criticised for dismissing safety concerns as ‘humbug’
Politicians have been warned to increase safety precautions when canvassing on doorsteps amid fears that voters will be angry over Brexit.
MPs from all parties have been given guidance about how to campaign safely ahead of the upcoming general election on December 12.
One key piece of advice was that MPs should not go out canvassing without at least one other party member, nor should they head out on the campaign trail when it is dark in the hopes of minimising the potential risk to their personal safety.
Politicians are warned to increase safety precautions when canvassing on doorsteps amid fears that there will be anger from voters over Brexit. Pictured: Michael Gove being escorted out of the Houses of Parliament by police on October 19
They have also been told to decline any offer from voters if they are invited into their homes.
Those considered to be most at risk have been issued with security alarms which will trigger an immediate armed police response should the MP feel that they are in danger.
Former Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach, who is contesting the seat of Eddisbury, Cheshire, is one such politician who has been given a personal attack alarm.
Former Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach, is one politician who has been given a security alarm
Ms Sandbach, a prominent Remainer, has been in the spotlight recently after she was stripped of the whip by Boris Johnson in September before then defecting to the Liberal Democrats.
‘I am not going to be put off campaigning by threats and online trolls.
‘But we do have to take measures to ensure our safety,’ she said speaking to The Observer.
In some areas the security alarms have been distributed more widely.
Labour MP Luke Pollard said that all his staff will also be carrying the safety device after his parliamentary office in Plymouth was attacked twice by vandals.
Other MPs too, including Labour’s Tracy Brabin in the constituency of Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire, have agreed that they will avoid canvassing on the streets from 5pm onwards.
Ms Brabin’s campaign is being coordinated by a close friend of Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered by a rightwing extremist just days before the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Paula Ferguson, for the Liberal Democrats, said recently: ‘I do not feel like I am in danger – but we did not think Jo Cox was in danger,’ according to The Observer.
Last month the Prime Minister was criticised for dismissing safety concerns.
He was confronted in the Commons by Labour MP Paula Sherriff who called him out for his use of ‘inflammatory language’ during Brexit negotiations, which she said was being cited by online trolls.
Boris Johnson replied by saying: ‘I have never heard such humbug in all my life.’
Some more moderate Conservatives including Nicky Morgan and Amber Rudd have since announced they would not be standing for election.
The winter poll will be the first since February 1974.
It is hoped that the election will help break the deadlock over Brexit but it is thought that the NHS will also be an issue that is troubling many voters.
Last month, the Prime Minister (pictured) was criticised for dismissing safety concerns as ‘humbug’ after being confronted by Labour MP Paula Sherriff
The campaign is already causing heated disruption between the parties.
The hashtag ‘Debate Her’ was trending on social media earlier this week after Jo Swinson, for the Liberal Democrats, as well as Nigel Farage, for the Brexit Party, were both left out of a head-to-head debate that will be televised on ITV on November 19.
Instead, the coverage will only feature Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.
Ms Swinson taunted her opposition by posting a link on her Twitter page with the caption: ‘Scared, boys?’
Other Lib Dem MPs soon joined the trend and claimed that the coverage arrangements were ‘rigged’.
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