Tory MP Anna Soubry has revealed one of her staff members was called a “spineless c**t” as he made his way into work at parliament.
The high-profile “people’s vote” backer, who faced chants of “Nazi” from alleged Brexit protestors outside Westminster, said no police officer was on hand when her male staffer was targeted on Wednesday morning.
“It wasn’t just a random piece of abuse,” the Broxtowe MP said, raising a point of order with Bercow after prime minister’s questions. “He was called a spineless c**t.”
She went on to say there was “no excuse for [staff] to be abused in this way” and that it “can’t be right” that cops were not manning all entrances to the parliamentary estate.
Soubry also voiced fears MPs’ staff would start leaving their jobs.
“This man who abused my member of staff had been spoken to on three occasions this morning and then they left their post to go somewhere else,” said Soubry.
Commons Speaker John Bercow said Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick must do more to protect staff.
Soubry told MPs: “I’m grateful to the police who keep us safe [..] and I don’t doubt they want to do a good job, but unless the Met Police at the most senior level now do their job and make sure our staff have exactly the same rights as any other worker in any other business, trade or profession we will have a situation where our members of staff will simply no longer work for us.”
She concluded by asking the Speaker “what more can we do?”
Bercow said he agreed with her and had previously written to Commissioner Dick about security around Westminster.
The move followed people claiming to be pro-Brexit protestors mobbing figures such as the Guardian journalist Owen Jones and Sky News’ Kay Burley.
“No-one should be subjected to vile abuse of the kind that the Rt Hon Lady has described,” said Bercow.
He went on to say he had “received a very full and encouraging reply” from the Met boss.
He added: “But she, whilst quite properly explaining how seriously she sand her officers take their responsibilities, went on to seek to assure me of an increased police presence and to some degree a changed mindset in terms of the importance of proactive measures.
“Quite why there were no police outside PCH at the time, I do not know at this point know, but I intend to raise the matter because it is absolutely vital that the aspiration to achieve security is realised if at all possible in every particular case.”