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MP reveals how she was called a ‘traitor’ during EU referendum campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 July 2016

Thérèse Coffey.

Thérèse Coffey.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey has lost count of the number of times she has been called a “traitor” during the European Union referendum campaign.

Dr Coffey, who is also deputy leader of the House of Commons, spoke in advance of the debate paying tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox who was killed while heading to a constituency surgery at Birstall in West Yorkshire.

The Suffolk MP, who supported Britain remaining a member of the EU, said the referendum had prompted a passionate debate – but there had been times when that passion had boiled over among some people.

She said: “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been called a traitor during the campaign.

“I’ve been a Tory for many years and I’ve become used to this but it has been more noticeable as passions run high.”

Like many of her colleagues she had taken security precautions since becoming an MP long before last week’s tragedy.

While passion was good in politics, it needed to be kept in check and those involved with the campaigns needed to avoid inflaming extreme views.

Dr Coffey also felt that while the debate was an opportunity to pay tribute to Mrs Cox, it was not likely to be the only chance MPs would have to discuss the issue of personal security.

What do you think about MPs’ security? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk


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