Rother Valley MP reveals 'numerous' threats received as he and Bassetlaw MP vow to continue surgeries after death of Sir David Amess
The MPs in Bassetlaw and Rother Valley say they will not be deterred from holding face-to-face surgeries with constituents following the tragic death of Sir David Amess last week.
The Southend West MP was killed while meeting constituents during a routine surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Friday October 15.
A 25-year-old man is being held by police under the Terrorism Act in connection with the attack.
Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford revealed he has received “numerous” threats to him and his family, although the “overwhelming majority” of his constituents are “supportive”.
“Surgeries are the essential job of an MP and nothing should reduce that,” added Mr Stafford.
“We cannot let those that attack our democracy win.
“It is crucial that all MPs are visible and approachable, and I will not do anything to reduce this.
“I have had numerous threats to myself and my family from insults, to threats of violence, to threats of turning up to my home, and I have reported some people to the police.
"Luckily this is a tiny minority and the overwhelming majority of people in Rother Valley are supportive.
“I agree that what does need to change is the tone of the debate and people to be nicer, on and offline.
“Politicians of all political colours want to do best for their residents, but I worry that over the past few years the tone of the debate has got a lot worse.”
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith also vowed to continue his surgeries.
“We must not allow those who wish to destroy our democratic system or our way of life to stop us from doing our jobs,” he said.
"The relationship between MPs and their constituents in this country is one of openness and accessibility and is something we should value.
"I cannot think of a country in the world which does this as well as we do in the UK. We must not lose this and I will be continuing my surgeries as usual. I will not let these people beat us.
“MPs receive a lot of abuse, especially online, and whilst legitimate criticism must always encouraged, it is wrong that this sort of behaviour continues and quite wrong that they should face threats towards themselves and their families.
"Contrary to the beliefs of some, there is a human being behind the public face.
"Whilst I may disagree with my opponents, I do not believe they are bad people – I simply believe they are mistaken.”