ON Friday last week when I heard another parliamentary colleague, Sir David Amess, had been attacked and killed, I cried.
Over the weekend I felt gloomy, despairing about the vulnerability of all of us working in politics and deeply sorry for the anguish of David’s family so similar to our own family.
By Monday I was angry – angry that we had gone through this trauma before very recently when our dear friend and my constituency neighbour Jo Cox had also been brutally murdered.
My longest-serving member of staff, who had been with me out and about in my constituency when the tragic news broke, said: “After five years, Barry, we are all still as vulnerable as the day Jo died.” She is right.
On Monday, Parliament was at its best and its worst. We are magnificent in the way we can come together, united in our grief and our despair at the loss of another much-loved colleague.
However, the utmost care was taken to stifle any sign of criticism for what appears to many of us – the abject failure to protect the health, wellbeing, safety and security of MPs and their staff in the years since that vile murder of Jo Cox.
But very soon the time must come and we must not delay a moment too long to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.
From: William Rees, Boroughbridge.
LIKE many of your readers, I would imagine, I was moved by Kim Leadbeater’s article in Monday’s edition (The Yorkshire Post, October 18), in which she reacted to the murder of Sir David Amess and reflected on the tragic loss of her sister Jo Cox five years earlier.
I can only try to imagine the impact on her of losing her sister so cruelly and senselessly five years ago.
She has my abiding sympathy, as does the family of David Amess.
But one thing I wish that Kim had added to her article, given that it was a plea for more civilised discourse in politics, was a reference to the comments of Angela Rayner, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, who, speaking to activists at the Labour Party conference last month reportedly described Tories as “scum” amid her insults.
If our politicians are going to improve the climate in which debate takes place, the first place to look is at themselves.
I sincerely wish that Kim had taken Angela Rayner to task for such hate-filled speech, which is surely unworthy of someone in her position.
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