Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'This Is My Home Town and I Don't Want to Be Closed Away'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'This Is My Home Town and I Don't Want to Be Closed Away'

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Dale Reporter sarah.dale@trinitymirror.com

"MIDDLESBROUGH is my home town and I don't want to be closed away - I can't be bodyguarded all the time."

These are the words of Teesside MP Andy McDonald as the safety of our representatives comes under the spotlight after the horrific killing of Yorkshire MP Jo Cox.

The security of MPs across the country is being reviewed - with the introduction of personal alarms one of the options being considered.

All MPs returned to Westminster yesterday - Parliament had been in recess to prepare for this week's European Union referendum - to pay tribute to the 41-year-old mum-of-two who was shot and stabbed outside her constituency office in Birstall, near Leeds, on Thursday.

Redcar MP Anna Turley, who was in the same intake as Mrs Cox, called her colleague "clever, funny and kind".

"We shared a lot of views and spent a lot of time together," said the Labour MP.

"She was brilliant and I was looking forward to getting to know her better.

"She was the person in Parliament that you'd make a beeline for to go and sit next to."

Ms Turley said she hoped her "ongoing security concerns" would be addressed in Westminster.

Although reluctant to discuss particular security measures until they have been solved, she said: "We have got to get the balance right.

"We need to be safe but we need to be out and about.

"We're just ordinary people. I go to Morrisons in Redcar and go out walking my dog, and I'm always talking to people when I'm out."

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald agreed saying: "We are reviewing our security but we've got to be open and accessible.

"The office will remain open and our surgeries will continue, we will not shut ourselves away.

"The whole point was to be visible and accessible and that was our objective. …

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