United Kingdom: concerned for his safety, an MP gives up running


For the next legislative elections in the United Kingdom, at least one elected official will not stand again: he is giving up because he fears for his safety.
General elections are due to be held before the end of the year in the United Kingdom. Elected for 14 years in a constituency in north London, Mike Freer will no longer be a British MP in a few months: he has announced that he is giving up seeking a new mandate, due to fears for his security.

He has objective reasons to worry. This week, a man was arrested after making a threatening phone call. Unfortunately, this is not the worst. On Christmas Eve, his office was set on fire, and two people were arrested for arson with intent to endanger life. He also recently found fake molotov cocktails placed on the steps of his office. Threats have become almost daily for this elected official from north London. He represents the constituency with the largest number of Jewish voters and he regularly takes pro-Israeli positions. When announcing his withdrawal, he denounced the ambient anti-Semitism, which he directly linked to this intimidation.

Mike Freer narrowly escaped an Islamist terrorist

Mike Freer also discovered with horror that an Islamist terrorist had inquired about him, a little less than three years ago. He had even come to his constituency at a time when Freer should have been there but had changed his plans at the last moment. The terrorist finally took action, in the east of the country: he stabbed MP David Amess to death in October 2021. Which makes Freer say today that he is “lucky to be envy.” Since then, he and his team have worn bulletproof vests in public appearances.

The announcement of this withdrawal obviously creates a stir in the political class, starting with Mike Freer’s designated opponent for the future election. The Labor candidate said she was shocked and regretted not being able to debate with him on the basis of ideas during the next campaign. Several elected officials, from all sides, have shown their support for Mike Freer. A former Conservative minister calls it a “totally understandable decision.” The subject has been very sensitive in the country since the assassination of David Amess two and a half years ago. And everyone remembers Jo Cox, the MP killed by a white supremacist while campaigning in 2016.

This article is originally published on radiofrance.fr


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