Sir Keir Starmer admits he is ‘very concerned’ about threats to MPs | Politics | News

January 7, 2024
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Sir Keir Starmer has said he is “very concerned” about threats against MPs over the Israel-Hamas war.

When asked about protests focused on the war in Gaza, the Labour leader said: “Beyond the formal protests there have been a number of threats and abuse to individuals, particularly some MPs, which I’m very concerned about – the level of threats that are being made to a number of MPs, including some within my own party, but not just within my own party.

“So I fiercely defend the right to protest, including on this issue of course, but I don’t think we can escape the fact that there are these threats, not necessarily in the protests, in and around that we must be very very careful about.

“We’ve lost parliamentary colleagues in the past and so this isn’t just some idle discussion, it is a very serious issue.”

Sir Keir also admitted he is kept up at night worrying about the impact of his job on his children.

The Labour leader said his wife Vic was his “complete support”.

He told Sky News’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: “The only thing that keeps me up at night, the only thing that worries me is our children, because they’re 13 and 15, that’s difficult ages.

“It will impact them, we don’t name them in public, we don’t do photographs with them, they go to the local school and I just desperately try to protect them in that way, but I know it’s going to be harder and I do worry about that.”

The Labour leader said his party will “stand as one” with the Government on addressing the situation in the Red Sea.

Commercial ships have been attacked by Houthis rebels from Yemen.

The Labour leader said: “When Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister he and I had a private phone call that evening and I said to him, ‘we will robustly challenge each other up hill and down dale on most things but on national security, on terrorism, on Ukraine – because that was a dominant issue then – we will stand as one’, same applies here.

“The Government has already made a statement, as you know, in relation to what’s happening in the Red Sea, we support that. We’ll wait to see what next action needs to be taken.

“National security is the first concern of any government, it will be the first concern of an incoming Labour government of course, and where action is needed we’re prepared to take it.

“What I don’t want to do is to sit here getting ahead of the Government in an area, where I’ve said, because it’s so important, we will, you know wherever we can, work together so there’s one voice coming out of the UK.

“In the Middle East, obviously huge conflict environment, and it will not help the situation in the Red Sea to have political divides here that aren’t necessary.”



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