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Brexit MP wears body camera outside Parliament amid growing abuse


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Mr Davies records himself walking back and forth to Parliament

MP David TC Davies has taken to wearing a body camera amid the increasing levels of abuse aimed at politicians.

The pro-Brexit Monmouth MP said he has taken to using the device for “protection and evidential purposes”.

At least 115 MPs have called on police to improve their response to abusive protesters outside Parliament.

It comes after Anna Soubry, who supports another Brexit referendum, was accused “of being a Nazi”, while being interviewed on the BBC News channel.

However Mr Davies said that incident on Monday was just the latest example of verbal abuse and harassment suffered by politicians on both sides of the Brexit divide.

“Like a lot of MPs on all sides of the [Brexit] argument, I’ve been subjected to abuse, threats and malicious allegations. It has been going on a long time,” he said.

“So the camera is to protect me and for evidential purposes.

“During the last couple of interviews I’ve done, I’ve had people swearing, threatening to find where I live and I’ve been called scum.

“I’ve had flag poles shoved in my face and if I have to push objects out of the way, people have made allegations that I’ve grabbed them. So now I switch on the camera every time I walk up and down to College Green [opposite the Houses of Parliament].”

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Mr Davies said the camera protects him from “malicious allegations”

Speaker John Bercow has urged police to take stronger action and described the abuse and harassment of MPs outside Parliament as “a type of fascism”.

More than 60 MPs have now signed a letter calling for greater protection outside Parliament, as well as for activists, journalists and members of the public.

Cardiff South and Penarth MP, Stephen Doughty coordinated the letter having received a fake bomb as well as threats of hanging, shooting and stabbing in recent years.

He believes the problem is worsening.

“There is concern that the situation has deteriorated in recent weeks and we’re now crossing the line from genuine freedom of expression into threats, intimidation, harassment and potential criminal offences,” he said.

“We cannot allow those lines to be crossed because serious harm can be done, like the murder of my friend Jo Cox.

“It also degrades our democracy and [people] may not want to go into public life.”

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Cardiff South and Penarth MP, Stephen Doughty said recent scenes “damages our democracy”

Mr Bercow said he was “concerned” about a “pattern of protest” targeting female MPs and journalists.

In his letter to the Met Police chief on Tuesday, he said he recognised it was “a difficult job” allowing peaceful protests and intervening when things “turn sour”.

But, he added: “It’s one thing demonstrating from a distance with placards, or calling out slogans – and another, where the protester invades the personal space of a member, subjects him or her to a tirade of menacing, racist, sexist and misogynistic abuse, and follows them back to their place of work.”

The Metropolitan Police has said it was ready to “deal robustly” with any instances of criminal harassment.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said Scotland Yard would be “enhancing the policing presence” in the run-up to next week’s vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.



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