MP cancels surgeries after murder of Jo Cox

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn  (centre) speaks to the media during an impromptu vigil at Parliament Square. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) speaks to the media during an impromptu vigil at Parliament Square. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
0
Have your say

A local MP called the police after a string of vile online threats were made, forcing her to cancel constituency surgeries.

Cat Smith, whose Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency includes Scorton and Forton, said threats made against her and her staff have been reported to police, and initially led to her cancelling surgeries this weekend.

But, following discussions with officers, pre-arranged surgeries were expected to be held this week as originally planned. Last week’s constituency meetings were cancelled in light of the killing of MP Jo Cox.

Ms Smith, a friend of the murdered Labour MP, said the details of the alleged threat could not be discussed, as police were looking into it.

She said: “We don’t have magic wands, we can’t always fix somebody’s problems.

“Sometimes, I think rightly so, people are upset, there is a lot of injustice in the world, I try to fix what I can fix but I don’t have a magic wand.”

Ms Smith, who was in the same intake into Parliament as colleague Jo, said: “Occasionally, people say ‘It’s part of the job’.

“It’s not part of the job. As far as I’m concerned I did not sign up to be abused or threatened, I signed up to be a public servant. In general, there are posts on social media, there are emails which you get that are vile, and people feel free to say all kinds of horrible stuff to your face. Although, generally, most of it is online.”

Surgeries are usually run from libraries but had been switched, temporarily, to telephone appointments.