The past few days have been extremely difficult in Parliament following the terrible events in Southend. I was honoured to represent North Cornwall at the memorial service to Sir David Amess, which was held at St Margaret’s Chapel. Many constituents have contacted me and expressed their deep condolences about Sir David. Although we can be divided along political lines, this tragedy is one of those times where the House of Commons is fully united regardless of party. I was left feeling the same as I did the week Jo Cox died; two excellent constituency MP’s lost while simply going about their day to day work.
I was first elected to the green benches in 2015, and before that, I served on Cornwall Council and the old District Council. Over the years I have met thousands of constituents in meetings, on the doors and out and about. Some of the conversations I have held with people have been very robust, and our positions have differed. There have only been a small number of occasions where I have felt concerned or have been the target of a threat but once is too many – nobody should be threatened or worried for their safety at work. Security is always a concern for me, and as a Member of Parliament I am also responsible for the safety and security of my staff, and by extension their families. It’s a sad coincidence that less than twenty-four hours before Sir David was killed my staff were holding a meeting with local police over several messages my office received which gave us concern. I know that many of my colleagues in the House of Commons, from all parties, face a similar situation daily.
It is likely that legislation will be brought forward which will attempt to deal with some of the issues public figures have to deal with, such as vindictive communications and threatening messages; I look forward to scrutinising these proposals. The wider issue of radicalisation is unfortunately something that successive governments have been forced to confront in the past, and regrettably will continue to combat in future. The debate around how to tackle this will be something that I am sure will be raised in Parliament in the coming weeks.
Before I sign off, I would like to let you know about a new scheme from TalkTalk in partnership with the DWP that provides free broadband to jobseekers. The scheme provides Jobseekers with six months of contract-free broadband via a home router, usually costing £23 a month. After six months, customers can cancel with no additional cost, or choose to continue onto a contract with TalkTalk. Its national rollout follows a successful trial in the North West of England.
To access this scheme, the jobseeker must request it from their Jobcentre Plus work coach. If you require any further information about the scheme do please give me a call or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.