Conservative MP Mike Freer, representing the Finchley and Golders Green constituency, disclosed the disturbing regularity of wearing a stab vest during public appearances in the wake of a suspected arson attack on his office. Speaking to Sky News, Freer emphasized that the use of stab vests among MPs Mike Freer has tragically become commonplace due to heightened security risks in public settings.
The suspected arson incident occurred on Christmas Eve, causing significant damage to the office situated at Ballards Lane in Finchley, North London. Although the premises were unoccupied at the time, the fire, initiated in a shed, resulted in substantial destruction.
Expressing concern over the incident, Freer stated, “Regrettably, it’s part of the job now, and it shouldn’t be. Too many MPs Mike Freer face physical threats, and tragically, we’ve lost some colleagues.” He highlighted past safety concerns, including an alarming instance when Ali Harbi Ali, the assailant responsible for the murder of Sir David Amess in 2021, had visited his office.
Despite the unsettling nature of these incidents, Freer affirmed the vital role of MPs’ accessibility to constituents in upholding democratic values. “It’s a fundamental aspect of our democracy that MPs Mike Freer are accessible,” he emphasized. “But unfortunately, this accessibility comes with risks nowadays. Many of us, including myself, wear stab vests during public events, which should not be the norm.”
Freer, whose constituency holds a sizable Jewish population, speculated that the arson might be linked to tensions in the Middle East. He expressed hope that the motives were not politically driven but acknowledged the historical trend of increased local attacks during heightened Middle Eastern conflicts.
Describing the extent of damage to his office, Freer highlighted significant destruction on the ground and first floors, rendering most of the workspace unusable. He expressed deep concern for his staff’s safety, stating, “It’s incredibly distressing for my team. They shouldn’t have to fear working for an MP.”
In response to escalating security concerns, Freer detailed the stringent security measures in place at his office, including panic buttons and the mandatory screening of individuals requesting meetings to ensure they are constituents.
“This incident will undoubtedly raise concerns among MP staff nationwide,” Freer concluded. “We’ve taken every reasonable precaution to maintain safety while upholding accessibility.”
The incident remains under investigation by the authorities to determine the precise motives behind the suspected arson attack on Freer’s office.