A pledge to protect “public figures as they go about their work” has been made by South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes.
Just days after the death of Labour MP Jo Cox (41), who was attacked in her West Yorkshire constituency last Thursday, Mr Hayes promised that the Government would look at extra measures to keep politicians and other public officials safe.
But Mr Hayes, Minister of Security in the Conservative Government, stressed that Mrs Cox’s death would not prevent him from maintaining an “intimate relationship” with his constituents.
He said: “It’s a very sad time for the country, but also for Parliament and people underestimate that it has a strong, collegiate spirit.
“We’re all dedicated to a common purpose which is to make things better for people and we must never lose that contact with our constituents.
“There isn’t a single MP who won’t have encountered desperate, dangerous or deranged people and you just hope they don’t have a gun on them.
“As Security Minister, I’m quite closely involved in some of these matters and it’s important that measures are taken to ensure that all public figures are safe as they go about their work.
“The Government will continue to make sure that is the case and the only silver lining that might come from this dark cloud is that people might understand the value of our democratic institutions better.”
Both Mr Hayes and fellow Conservative MP Matt Warman paid tribute to Jo Cox who was remembered in the two Houses of Parliament during separate sittings on Monday.
Mr Hayes said: “I’ve met Jo and I knew her to say ‘hello’ to, but we only knew each other on the basis of acquaintanceship.
We’re all dedicated to a common purpose which is to make things better for people and we must never lose that contact with our constituentsSouth Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes
“The whole House (of Commons) is very sad as it’s the first time an MP has been killed since 1990.”
Meanwhile, Mr Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, said: “The politics that is best for all of us isn’t about parties, what’s possible or what’s practical.
“It’s about public service based on values.
“I’m not going to pretend I knew Jo Cox well, we said hello to each other in corridors, occasionally went to the same events and sought to do what is right by the people who came to see us (at) our surgeries.
“We were most passionate about different issues, yet what I see across the House of Commons day (by) day is one common theme.
“People go into politics because they believe our world can be better and most think simply that somebody has to do it.
“Whether we are constituent or politician, Labour or Conservative, we have far more in common with each other than the things that divide us.”