Spending on MPs' security soars in months following Jo Cox killing

'It is important that we take their security, and that of their families and their staff, very seriously'

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 17 November 2016 18:45
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Floral tributes and candles are placed by a picture of slain Labour MP Jo Cox at a vigil in Parliament square in London on 16 June, 2016
Floral tributes and candles are placed by a picture of slain Labour MP Jo Cox at a vigil in Parliament square in London on 16 June, 2016

Spending on security for MPs soared in the months following the killing of Jo Cox outside her constituency office, according to new figures.

Data released to the MailOnline under Freedom of Information laws claimed that over £637,000 was spent through the security assistance budget of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) since June 16.

Separate statistics released by Ipsa show that it marks a huge increase on the total £160,000 spent on security for MPs in the 2015-16 financial year, which in itself was more than double the £77,000 in the previous year.

The late Jo Cox was set upon outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, in front of her staff and shocked residents on June 16. Thomas Mair, 53, is accused of repeatedly shooting and stabbing the 41-year-old Remain campaigner a week before the EU referendum vote.

Ipsa's chief executive, Marcial Boo, said: "Members of Parliament do a demanding job that is important for our democracy. Ipsa helps them carry out their role, both in Westminster and in their constituencies, by paying their legitimate business costs within a strong regulatory framework.

"More than 70 per cent of the money we spend on MPs pays the salaries of their staff. These are dedicated people who help MPs to provide a service to their constituents up and down the country. This proportion has remained largely constant from previous years.

"2015-16 also saw Ipsa's spending on MPs' security increase from £77,234.67 to £160,023.53, even before the tragic events of June. It is important that we take their security, and that of their families and their staff, very seriously.

“This year we are publishing MPs' spending on a new website to make it easier for the public to see what their own representative has spent. We are also trialling providing MPs with an opportunity to comment on their spending, should they wish to do so.”

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