NEWS DIGEST 16.10.2021: Reactions to stabbing murder of MP David Amess, other stories

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Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”, a Home Office spokesman said. “The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course.” Ms Patel earlier condemned the killing of Sir David Amess (an MP murdered in a stabbing at his constituency surgery in the county of Essex) as an “attack on democracy”, which raises renewed questions about the security of MPs. Ms Patel in a series of Tweets expressed concern that 69-year-old Sir David was fatally stabbed while holding a constituency surgery in his Southend West seat. The Speaker said he has discussed the security of MPs with the Home Secretary following the killing of Sir David Amess. As well as the killing of Ms Cox in June 2016 in the days before the Brexit referendum, the attack on Sir David carried echoes of two earlier incidents when MPs were attacked in their constituencies – Priti Patel asks all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs after Sir David Amess murder (Evening Standard/MSN news)

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Sir David Amess last year wrote about how the important British tradition of MPs meeting constituents had been changed forever by the murder of Jo Cox at her constituency surgery. Sir David Amess had written about Jo Cox’s murder in his memoir. In Ayes and Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster, published in November 2020, Sir David said the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox outside her own constituency surgery had been totally unexpected. Last year Sir David published a book, including the following passage about how the murder of Jo Cox ‘spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting’ their MPs. Sir David used the same passage to commend the work of the Jo Cox Foundation, which was established to combat loneliness in the wake of her death – Sir David Amess wrote about impact of Jo Cox murder on meeting constituents in his latest book (The Telegraph/MSN news)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency surgery on Friday. William and Kate said they were “shocked and saddened” by the killing of Sir David, adding their “thoughts and prayers” are with his family, friends and colleagues. Carrie Johnson the Prime Minister’s wife, is among others who have paid tribute, tweeting: “Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess.” Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps described Sir David Amess as “a true parliamentarian”. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis described Sir David Amess as “one of life’s truly nice people” – Boris Johnson, William and Kate lead tributes to Sir David Amess (Evening Standard/MSN news)

A terminally ill man who is planning to travel to Switzerland to end his life within weeks has accused legislators of failing people on assisted dying laws. David Peace, from London, who communicates by text to voice software on his iPad, has said he is not suicidal but is being reluctantly forced to end his life prematurely so he can avoid “intolerable” suffering in future. He hopes to travel to Dignitas in Switzerland within the next two months to end his life. “If the law in the UK were different my life would be longer and my end of life would not entail the hassle and difficulty of international travel at the most vulnerable point in my life.” A private member’s bill which would allow terminally ill adults to legally seek assistance to end their life will have its second reading in parliament – Man travelling to Switzerland to end his life says terminally ill have been ‘failed’ by UK law (Sky News/MSN news)

Health Secretary Sajid Javid today blasted anti-vaccine protesters targeting pupils at schools gates in London – warning that spreading false information about the Covid jab was “irresponsible, dangerous and costs lives”. Teachers stood guard at the school gates, confiscated the leaflets from pupils and checked whether they had been upset by the presence of the protesters. There are reports of similar leafleting happening at other schools in the area this week, including Highgate Wood School, The Archer Academy in East Finchley, Camden School for Girls, Heartlands High School in Wood Green, and Alexandra Park secondary school, which is next door to the Rhodes Avenue primary school in Muswell Hill. It began in London last month at Villiers High School in Southall. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We are increasingly concerned about the disturbing tactics being used by some anti-vaccination protesters. Schools cannot manage this on their own and we expect them to be provided with prompt support from the police as necessary.”Exclusive: Sajid Javid blasts London school gate anti-vaxxers targeting youngsters (Evening Standard/MSN news)

Summarised with SMMRY.

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