Thank you to all the constituents who turned up to my Brexit public meetings in Knott End and Lancaster. I’d also like to say a massive thank you to the police teams who came along to ensure everyone’s safety. You were hugely supportive and it was very reassuring having you there.
As many of you know I reluctantly had to cancel the public meeting in Fleetwood.
Yesterday afternoon my office received communication from a known source who monitors far right activity. They indicated that far right groups in the area were attempting to infiltrate and disrupt the meeting. I’d arranged these get togethers as a listening exercise for me and an opportunity for my constituents to voice their views on the current Brexit situation.
The information given to my office was alarming and led to me having serious concerns about the safety and security of my constituents, my team and my family.
When I first organised these meetings, as many MPs do, I asked for a policing presence. A proportionate, low key plan was put in place. However after discussions with Lancashire police yesterday evening I decided it was not worth taking any unnecessary risks and regrettably decided to cancel the meeting in Fleetwood. I was very disappointed that I had to take this action and didn’t take the decision lightly.
Every day MPs face threats to their personal security and that of their families. It’s upsetting and difficult to deal with this on a regular basis but is resonant of the times we live in. It’s important that we strive to find a solution to this Brexit mess so that we can move on and focus on the domestic problems facing this country – child poverty, low incomes and public services at breaking point.