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Derbyshire MP ‘hesitant’ ahead of future constituency meetings

As MPs pay tribute to one of their own, Sir David Amess, days after he was stabbed to death while holding a constituency surgery, one of Derbyshire’s MPs has told Derbyshire Live he’s “hesitant” about holding future meetings.

Sir David Amess was attacked on Friday lunchtime, October 15, while at a church hall in Leigh-on-Sea and died at the scene a short time later.

His death has led to calls for better security for our elected representatives at Westminster while they hold their meetings with members of their constituencies.

Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins, has admitted meetings have been held with counter-terrorism police in the days since the stabbing and he’s told us he has been in situations which have alarmed him: “We’ve met several people who’ve been suffering with their mental health and where there’s been tension, I never had to actually flee an appointment but they’ve certainly been times where the level of anger was concerning”.

Members of Parliament are back at Westminster but the vast majority of them will return to their constituencies on Friday, October 22, for further meetings with members of the public a week on from Sir David’s death, that’s something Mr Perkins admits has left him feeling a bit nervous: “When something like this happens you are a bit more hesitant and you are particularly careful but I will still continue to meet my constituents having put in place all the appropriate safeguards”.

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Mr Perkins, who holds his meetings at his Chesterfield town centre office, says they do have a strong plan in place should anything happen but adds further checks might have to be brought in, although he doesn’t want them to go too far: “In terms of my particular office, it would be more likely that we would carry out bag checks and that sort of thing rather than having a screen between people, we’ve had a serious risk assessment and we will do what we can to ensure that they [the meetings] take place safely while continuing to be accessible to constituents”.

Counter-terrorism police are continuing to question a man on suspicion of murder and terrorism offences in connection with the death of Sir David.

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