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I’ve been targeted with acid attack and death threats, says Dominic Raab, after Sir David Amess’ death

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DOMINIC Raab today revealed police had to step in to stop an acid attack against him and that he’s faced three death threats in the last two years.

The deputy PM warned online hate against politicians is now “out of control” as he paid tribute to Tory MP Sir David Amess.

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Dominic Raab revealed he’s been targeted with an acid attack and death threats[/caption]

PA

The deputy PM spoke out after the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess shocked Britain[/caption]

He said extra safety measures like private security guards and stab vests could be introduced to help protect elected representatives.

But he also warned that “there is never going to be a 100% safety net” against those who wish to do parliamentarians harm.

His remarks came after Labour MP Tulip Siddiq revealed she receives abusive messages online every single day.

The shadow minister for children said she gets a violent threat, such as rape or murder, on average once every three weeks.

Mr Raab said he was on the end of three “significant death threats” during his time as foreign secretary.

The most recent one was “someone threatening to throw acid over me” which he said resulted in a police “intervention”.


He said: “I think a lot people would be surprised at how widespread it is, and not just abuse but serious, concerted threats.

“We do see the constant vilification of politicians and MPs, particularly online.

“Since 2010 I’ve been very conscious the risk to us as representatives has increased.

“The coarsening of debate and the polarisation has led to much more personal attacks on individuals rather than just passionate debate on the issue.

“I think that’s partly where we’ve just seen something go wrong over the last 11 years.”

But he insisted he doesn’t want to move constituency work online or have plain clothes cops stationed at his surgeries.

Mr Raab, now the Justice Secretary, raised fears that would have a “chilling effect” on people coming forward who need his help.

He added: “A number one thing is we do not allow something like this to undermine, corrode or erode our democracy. We don’t let the terrorists win.”

We do see the constant vilification of politicians and MPs, particularly online


Deputy PM Dominic Raab

And he said there needs to be a “team effort” between politicians, social media, and journalists to dial down rhetoric.

He said: “It’s incumbent on all of us to think very carefully about how we approach politics.”

Local police forces have started contacting all MPs to see what more can be done to help boost security.

Commons speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, said protection mustn’t end when politicians step outside the “fortress” Westminster.

But he also warned against a “knee-jerk reaction” and insisted he doesn’t want to see US-style armed guards for elected representatives here.

Today a man was arrested after Labour’s Chris Bryant received death threats in the wake of Sir David’s death.

The Rhondda MP said he was sent the malicious post after calling for people to be kinder in politics.


Mr Bryant warned that political debate is now “more sour now than I’ve known it in 20 years”.

He said: “Some of the political debates have been really vicious and sharp.

“I think it’s women, black and ethnic minority and gay MPs who get the brunt of it, but everybody gets some of this.”

Sir David was stabbed and killed at a constituency meeting on Friday
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