Commons and US speakers discuss threat to democracy in Westminster

Their discussions took place against the backdrop of two MPs – Tory Sir David Amess and Labour’s Jo Cox – being killed within the last six years.

21 February 2022

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has said he is working to lessen the risks of a Capitol-style insurrection in Parliament after holding talks with his US counterpart.

He said security for MPs is “under discussion” on Monday as police investigated death threats received by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer after he was heckled by a mob in Westminster.

Sir Lindsay hosted US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Commons for discussions about the threat facing democracy.

Their discussions took place against the backdrop of two MPs – Tory Sir David Amess and Labour’s Jo Cox – being killed within the last six years.

Nancy Pelosi visit to Parliament
Sir Lindsay Hoyle welcomes Nancy Pelosi (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Sir Lindsay said he wanted to learn lessons in the wake of the pro-Donald Trump group that stormed congress in Washington DC in the dying days of his presidency in January last year.

Speaking to reporters, Sir Lindsay said: “What we want to see is democracy thrive and what we’ve got to do is make sure politicians, those threats made against them, that we put all the right security measures in place.

“I did have a meeting this morning, I have discussed it again, I want to make sure that we learn from the mistakes that happened.

“Mob rule, Capitol Hill, I want to learn what happened there to make sure it doesn’t happen here.

“Security is under discussion, this is about ensuring that democracy thrives and that people who do not share our views, through terrorism, through evil ways, we will always stand united together.”

Sir Keir accused Boris Johnson of deploying a discredited “right-wing conspiracy theory” when he accused the Labour leader of “failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile” while director of public prosecutions.

Some Tory MPs were also highly-critical of the Prime Minister’s claim in the Commons and linked it to Sir Keir being mobbed outside Parliament earlier this month, including by some protestors echoing the smear.

Ms Pelosi went on to meet the Prime Minister during her visit to London.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “They discussed the current situation in Ukraine, and their deep concern at the prospect of imminent Russian military action.”

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