'When MPs start fearing for their lives that's beyond acceptable' Mike Freer MP tells Julia Hartley-Brewer about his resignation

Mike Freer MP tells TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer about why he resigned from his position due to personal safety.

The Tory politician, who represents Finchley and Golders Green, announced on Wednesday he will stand down at the next general election after a series of death threats and an arson attack on his constituency office.

Mr Freer claimed to have "avoided being murdered" by the "skin of (his) teeth" by Ali Harbi Ali, who later killed Southend West MP Sir David Amess during a constituency surgery in 2021.

He added that an arson attack on his north London constituency office in December was "the final straw".

Mr Freer told TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer: "It's not fair on my family. People forget it's our staff who answer the door and answer the phone.

"Political discourse should be robust, that's a part of our democracy, but when MPs have to start fearing for their lives and also the safety of their families and their staff, that goes beyond the point that is acceptable."

He added: "Social media has a lot to answer for. It allows people almost to be threatening and abusive with impunity, because it's virtually anonymous and social media companies are very slow to react if they react at all.

"An email allows people to say things that they would never say to your face, and so it generally makes the whole level of discourse much more abusive.

"It becomes a bit of a downward spiral, and sadly, we have come to accept it, and I'm not quite sure how you put the genie back in the bottle."

Anne Clarke posted an apology on X for her "insensitive" comments on Mr Freer's resignation

This comes as a Labour politician apologises on social media for her "insensitive" comments in relation to Mr Freer's resignation.

London Assembly member Anne Clarke posted on X commenting that only Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers was needed "for the hat trick of Barnet Tory MPs".

She was forced to swiftly delete the post and apologise, saying: "Last night I tweeted an insensitive post without having properly read the letter I was referring to.

"I would never intentionally seek to cause division and upset over such a serious issue as an elected official's personal safety.

"Even when you've been in politics a long time, it's still possible to make mistakes and it was a huge error on my part not to fully read the letter before passing comment.

"I offer my apologies to anyone who was upset by my original post, which I deleted almost straight away. I've also made a private apology to Mike Freer."

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