'Jo Cox wouldn't want the response to her death to be MPs becoming inaccessible', says Leeds MP Rachel Reeves
Leeds MP Rachel Reeves believes that despite the level of intimidation and harassment MPs receive, they must remain embedded in the community, in the way that her friend and colleague Jo Cox was.
Speaking about the aftermath of the tragic murder, Ms Reeves said: “After Jo was killed all MPs and particularly women were encouraged to think about their security - both at their home and in their offices and certainly we have made sure that the Leeds office is safe.
But I also think that Jo wouldn’t want the response to her death to be MPs becoming inaccessible, because Jo was really at the heart of her community and that’s one of the reasons that she was as loved as she was.
“And so MPs have got to carry on being able to go out and about, do their surgeries and be visible in the community where they live and they represent. So, you have got to get a balance right.
“I think it’s fair to say that all MPs are taking threats more seriously compared with what they might have done previously because you’ve seen what happened to Jo.”
Despite being well supported by the police herself, the Labour MP said that the response needed to be more consistent.
“There’s a lot of inconsistency between what the police nationally and at the highest level know is needed, but then resources available locally and the understanding at a local level of what is needed.
“But I have always had all the support I would want in Leeds but I think sometimes there is a bit of a disconnect about what should be happening and what actually happens at a local level.
“And that does need to improve because there clearly is a lot of targeted abuse at MPs in general, but also at some specific MPs and quite often it is the women.”