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£31m committed to protect democratic process

The government has committed an additional £31 million to protect the UK’s democratic processes from disruption and provide new security provisions to elected representatives over the next year. 

The investment will be used to enhance police capabilities, increase private sector security provisions for those facing a higher risk, and to expand cyber security advice to locally elected representatives.  

It will also ensure all elected representatives and candidates have a dedicated named police contact to liaise with on security matters, significantly expanding the support provided under current policing arrangements.   

Home Secretary James Cleverly will hold a roundtable with police chiefs today (Wednesday, 28 February) to discuss what more can be done to better ensure the safety and security of elected representatives and protect democratic processes from intimidation, disruption or subversion.  

The government recognises the importance of upholding the UK’s democratic processes following the impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and in advance of a general election.  

Home Secretary James Cleverly said:   

The government will take every possible step to safeguard the people, processes and institutions upon which our democracy relies.

I take the safety and security of all members of the House with the utmost seriousness. None of us should have to accept that enduring hate crimes, harassment, or threats is part of the job.  

I will continue to work closely with my police counterparts to provide elected representatives with the support they need.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:  

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen disgraceful attempts to intimidate MPs and undermine our democratic processes.

That behaviour is a threat to our democracy, and toxic for our society.

We will do whatever is necessary to protect those who’ve been elected to represent their local communities, and to defend our democratic freedoms.

As part of the additional funding announced today, a new communities fund will be established to support the deployment of additional police patrols each week in England and Wales, in response to increased community tensions.  

Local police forces will be able to draw upon the fund to surge policing presence in local areas in response to specific events. This will increase support available to vulnerable communities, bolstering police visibility, and increasing public confidence.  

The UK’s protective security system has undergone significant reform in recent years, most notably following the murders of Jo Cox and Sir David Amess, with the latter resulting in the MP security review.   

Improvements made under the review include the delivery of enhanced security advice and training, substantive improvements to existing security measures at Members’ homes and offices, and the delivery of new security measures including the deployment of additional private sector delivered protective security. 

Parliament, police, and the Home Office will continue to improve, adapt, and deliver security and risk reduction measures, as MPs and elected representatives’ requirements develop.

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