NEWS

Jo Cox Killing Led To MPs Security Costs Soaring To Over £150,000 A Month

Sixty Six MP's given 'enhanced' security packages after killing.

17/11/2016 17:35

MPs’ security spending soared after Jo Cox’s killing with over £150,000 a month being spent on their protection since June. 

Figures released to MailOnline show that £637,791.63 was spent through the security assistance budget of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) since June 16 - the day the MP was killed outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds.

The figure was up to date as of October 26.

Yui Mok/PA Wire
More than £600,000 was spent on MP's security in the wake of Jo Cox's killing 

Thomas Mair, 53, is accused of repeatedly shooting and stabbing the 41-year-old Remain campaigner a week before the EU referendum vote and is currently on trial for her murder. 

Separate statistics released by Ipsa show that the security figure is a huge increase on the £160,000 spent on security for MPs in the 2015-16 financial year. That figure was more than double the £77,000 spent the previous year.

According to Ipsa, 66 MPs were granted “enhanced” security packages after Cox’s death, indicating that police may consider they are at a greater risk.

The expenses watchdog has also approved 124 applications for “lone worker devices”, which can connect users to the authorities, for MPs and staff since Cox’s death.

Meanwhile, a court was told Thursday that Mair waved his knife and told shocked onlookers they had “better move back” as he killed Cox.

After Cox was set upon her assistant stepped in and hit Mair with her handbag, while 78-year-old Bernard Carter-Kenny desperately tried to intervene but was stabbed too, the Old Bailey heard.

Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Court sketch of Thomas Mair, the man accused of killing Cox

Taxi driver Rashid Hussain pulled up at around the same time as Cox’s arrival at Birstall library in a silver Vauxhall Astra.

As he was giving his fare her change, he heard what sounded like a “firecracker”, jurors were told.

Hussain said: “I just gave the change back and then because everybody was going towards the library I parked my car there.

“I walked towards the entrance and see the guy stabbing somebody ... behind the car. He was just standing up and he was in the road.”

The witness said he saw the man stab the Batley and Spen MP five or six times.

Hussain said: “When I reached near, he stepped back.

“I said: ‘what are you doing, what’s wrong with you.’ He said: ‘Move back, otherwise I’m going to stab you’.

“He was standing there with two ladies and another man. He said ‘better move back’.

“He shot twice. He moved back and shot again.”

Hussain told jurors that by this point Cox, who he had recognised as his MP, was bleeding from her mouth and was being helped by an Asian woman.

Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Witness taxi driver Rashid Hussain leaves the Jo Cox MP murder trial after giving evidence at the Old Bailey in London

He said: “Jo’s head was in her lap and she was pleading for Jo to stand up, talking about her kids.

“Her hands and clothes were covered in blood. She was the only person there helping her.”

David Honeybell, who had gone to see Cox before her surgery, told jurors that after the attack the man calmly walked away.

He said: “He just walked away with not a care in the world, he just walked away.”

Another eyewitness, Stephen Connolly, said: “It was very cold, he just walked away.”

Mair denies Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon - a dagger.

He has also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Carter-Kenny on the same date.

Clarke Rothwell was in a nearby sandwich shop when Mair allegedly launched his attack.

He told jurors he heard a “popping” noise and a woman scream.

Cox then slumped to the floor before her attacker shot her in the stomach, he said.

The man shouted words like “this is for Britain” and “put Britain first” before reloading his gun and shooting for a third time, the witness told jurors.

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