A authorities minister who prevented being murdered “by the skin of my teeth” is stepping down as an MP on the subsequent common election over fears for his private security.
Mike Freer, Conservative MP for the north London constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, has confronted a sequence of dying threats and was focused by Ali Harbi Ali – the person who stabbed Southend West MP Sir David Amess to dying in 2021.
The justice minister mentioned the “final straw” was an tried arson assault on his constituency workplace in December.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, he mentioned: “There comes a point when the threats to your personal safety become too much.”
He and his employees, he mentioned, have began sporting stab vests at scheduled public occasions in his constituency after studying that Ali had watched his Finchley workplace earlier than killing Sir David at a constituency surgical procedure.
Mr Freer mentioned: “I was very lucky that actually on the day [of Ali’s attempted attack] I was due to be in Finchley, I happened to change my plans and came into Whitehall.
“Otherwise who is aware of whether or not I’d have been attacked or survived an assault. He mentioned he got here to Finchley to assault me.”
MPs, he mentioned, attempt to “make light” of threats, however that it remained behind his thoughts that he may have been killed.
Mr Freer mentioned he had additionally obtained threats from the group Muslims Against Crusades “about coming to stab me” and located “mock Molotov cocktails on the office steps”.
The MP, who has pro-Israel views and represents a closely Jewish constituency, mentioned “I don’t think we can divorce” antisemitism from the intimidation.
He has represented the seat, which he received by round 6,600 votes on the final common election, since 2010, beating the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Freer joins a sequence of MPs who’ve mentioned they are going to be stepping down on the subsequent election, which is predicted later this yr.
Labour’s candidate in Finchley and Golders Green, Sarah Sackman, mentioned she was “shocked” by the information, including: “We ought to have been capable of face one another within the polls based mostly on our concepts and deserves.
“Instead, politics is now so often skewed by violent language, hate and the dangers of social media.”
Tory former minister Sir Conor Burns tweeted: “Totally understandable decision. The drip drip of hate (not exclusively from people on the other side) and remorseless cynicism will drive more people out of politics.”