Kuenssberg: The Chaos in the Commons Serves as a Grim Reminder of the Threats MPs Encounter


In this article, Laura Kuenssberg, presenter of Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, reflects on her experiences covering the EU referendum campaign and the changing political climate. She recalls the first day of the campaign when Boris Johnson unveiled the controversial £350m slogan and her surprise at being booed by the audience for questioning its accuracy. She also remembers the shocking news of MP Jo Cox’s murder, a crime committed by a man with a history of far-right extremism.

Kuenssberg also discusses the increasing threats faced by MPs, as revealed to her in a private conversation with a Labour MP in 2018. The MP described the security measures they had taken and their fear of making their concerns public. Kuenssberg notes that this fear was not unique, as many MPs had experienced abuse both online and in person.

She also recalls the regular demonstrations that took a different turn, with small groups harassing MPs and recording them on their phones. This behaviour seemed to be a deliberate provocation aimed at creating viral content for social media.

The article also touches on the recent decision by the Speaker of the House of Commons to break parliamentary rules due to concerns for MPs’ safety. The Speaker allowed a vote on Labour’s motion in an attempt to protect his colleagues from public anger and danger.

Kuenssberg concludes by wondering about the future implications of these developments. Will police be given more powers to protect MPs? Will politicians be more vocal about protests? And will those who harass politicians rethink their tactics or escalate them? The impact of these changes remains to be seen.

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