The cost of ensuring the security of British MPs rose from £171,000 in 2015 to £4.5 million in 2018, at least in part because of the divisive Brexit debate, according to a report out today.
The latest Parliamentary Monitor report from the Institute for Government think tank says that “after deeply divisive debates in parliament about British military involvement in Syria in late 2015, the National Police Chiefs’ Council recommended that all MPs adopt a standard package of security measures.”
“Tragically, the reality of the threat faced by MPs was demonstrated by the murder of Jo Cox [a pro-Remain Labour MP who was murdered by a far-right extremist days before the Brexit referendum].”
The report also says that the 2017 “terrorist attack on the Palace of Westminster … in which six people were killed, further underlined the importance of security measures.”
Beyond security costs, the report identified several characteristics of the 2015-2018 period in Westminster to support its argument that “Brexit, combined with minority government, had a profound and detrimental effect on the relationship between the government and parliament, and pushed parliamentary procedure to its limit.”