Hillary Clinton urges Metropolitan Police commissioner to take security of female MPs ‘very seriously’



Hillary Clinton has spoken to Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick about security for women MPs fearing for their safety.  

A total of 18 female MPs, including former ministers Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan, have announced they will not run again in December’s election partly as a result of online abuse or threats made against themselves and their families. 

Groups campaigning for equality in parliament have expressed alarm at the number of women who are stepping down.

Earlier this week the former US secretary of state called on Boris Johnson’s government to “stand up” and “make it really clear that we are going to protect these women”.

The 72-year-old revealed her conversation with Ms Dick – the first female Metropolitan Police Commissioner in its 190 year history – at an event held by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at King’s College London yesterday. 

Clinton, who became the first woman to represent a major US political party in a presidential race when she took on Donald Trump in 2016, said: “This is one of the first things I was told by friends of mine who are current or former members of the House of Commons or the House of Lords, that there was a growing anxiety among women members about the threats that they face, and of course with the memory of Jo Cox who was murdered for her political standing. 

“A number of these women have said it’s not just threats against themselves but against their children. So clearly something is amiss, we are not paying attention to what is motivating vulnerable people, extremists, ideologues online and off. I was at an event yesterday where the first woman commissioner of the London [Metropolitan] Police was there, and she and I were talking about this, and she said they take it very seriously as they should – because we have seen what happens when we don’t provide security for people in politics. But isn’t it just tragic that we have to think like that now, and that women in particular are making a very valid decision to protect themselves and their families and not run for office?”

The veteran politician also told the audience she hopes clarity from the election will help the UK “get back” to positively influencing the world. 

She said: “One hope is that whatever the outcome of your election there be at least the capacity to move forward and make certain decisions one way or the other, because here’s what I’m most worried about, for both my country and yours given our political deadlocks and divisions, we are missing out on a lot of great opportunities. There’s no better country’s position than the United States or the UK to own the future… so at some point I hope the UK can get back to really showing the kind of creativity and envisioning the future that is going to be good for all the people here, and have a positive effect around the world.”

Jo Cox died after being shot and stabbed in Birstall, West Yorkshire, days before the EU referendum in 2016. Thomas Mair, who has since been jailed for life, shouted “this is for Britain” as he attacked. 

The former First Lady is in London for a promotional tour of The Book Of Gutsy Women, co-authored with daughter Chelsea about the women who have inspired them, from sporting pioneers to civil rights activists and suffragettes.

She made headlines this week for saying she believes teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has scared male world leaders, and for saying she is “under enormous pressure” to run against Donald Trump in 2020. 



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