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Police or private guards will protect MPs at weekly surgeries in wake of the murder of David Amess

MPs will be offered face-to-face police protection or private security guards while they hold their constituency surgeries in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said measures would be put in place to ensure MPs could meet constituents safely. 

Speaking outside Southend police station yesterday, she urged MPs not to be 'cowed' by those threatening to 'stop us from functioning'.

It is understood that every MP will be offered protection at their surgeries under plans being reviewed by the Home Secretary and that metal detectors are also being considered.

It comes as reports suggest Parliament has been forced to hire a new security firm to look after MPs in their homes and offices. 

Southend West MP David Amess was meeting constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when he was stabbed to death on Friday afternoon.

MPs will be offered police protection or private security at constituency meetings under plans being reviewed by Priti Patel in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess. Pictured: Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer, Lindsay Hoyle and Priti Patel pay respects in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Sir David Amess, 69 (pictured, left, outside his surgery earlier this month), was stabbed 'multiple times' by a man as he spoke to constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church on Friday

Police continued to question a 25-year-old British man of Somalian descent last night and have been granted permission to detain him until Friday. 

Parliament bosses have not renewed their contract with Chubb who were brought in after the murder of Jo Cox five years ago to install additional security for MPs when they are not in their offices.

According to the Telegraph, MPs complained of slow service and poor security advice and the company will be replaced by ADT later this year, he firm used by the Home Office to install alarms for high-risk Cabinet ministers.

One MP told the Telegraph: 'They have yet to do a single thing in my new house, despite getting on to them the day after I moved in.

'It also took a year to do the most basic stuff at my office, like fitting a new front door.'

The newspaper reports that some MPs have been offered fixed panic alarms in their constituency offices and homes, while others have been given portable 'lone worker devices' that can alert police if they are in danger. 

A forensic investigator speaks with an officer at the Belfairs Methodist Church yesterday

Emergency services at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday

MPs angry at security overhaul in lead up to Sir David Amess' death 

MPs say they were left in the dark over a security overhaul in the lead up to the murder of Sir David Amess.

Security firm ADT is set to take over the responsibility for security at MPs homes and offices later this year.

But some MPs have been left angry and complained that alterations have already started with little communication about the changes.

The Mirror reports that some devices in MPs homes were being altered on the day of Sir David's murder.

Leicester West Tory Andrew Bridgen told the newspaper: 'The first I knew about this was when Chubb phoned me to make an appointment.

'He [the technician] came round to change my codes exactly an hour before David was murdered.'

Another MP said they have not been instructed on how the new devices work.

They claim the only way to find out is to press their panic buttons to see what happens.

Yesterday, defiant MPs continued to hold constituency surgeries as normal yesterday, while debate raged over whether Parliamentarians should be given police guards.

Alec Shelbrooke, Tory MP for Elmet and Rothwell, who held a surgery at a local supermarket yesterday, said: 'We cannot let events like this diminish the deep relationship between an MP and their constituents.

'This is a relationship I value deeply: I want my constituents, regardless of whether they voted for me or not, to be able to approach me in the street, in the pub, at the supermarket or at one of my surgeries.'

Tory former Cabinet Minister David Davis said suspending public meetings would be 'a terrible reflection of what David stood for'.

Robert Largan, Tory MP for High Peak, tweeted: 'I'll keep on doing my weekly surgery, all year round, whatever the weather! We all need to stand up for our democracy!'

Dr Kieran Mullan, the Tory MP for Crewe and Nantwich, tweeted: 'Surgery today, we must not let people force us to do things differently. David would not have wanted that.'

Some MPs sounded a more cautious note, with the Tory former Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood calling for a pause of face- to-face meetings until a safety review had been completed. Labour MP Harriet Harman called for an official review of MPs' safety.

After the attack on Friday, police were said to be contacting all MPs to check on their security. 

Writing in The Observer and the Mail on Sunday, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was 'working closely and at pace with the Home Office and the police' to identify ways to improve MPs' safety.

The attack came five-and-a-half years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist in her Batley and Spen constituency in West Yorkshire.

It is understood Labour will not be standing a candidate in the Southend West by-election.

The party is set to follow the principle established after Mrs Cox's murder, when the major parties declined to select candidates for the by-election.

The Liberal Democrats have also confirmed they will not fight for the Southend West seat when a polling date is set.