20 October 2021
Prime Minister's Questions

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Shailesh Vara highlights the work done by MPs’ staff who are often on the frontline in receiving abusive emails and correspondence, and taking hostile phone calls.

Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) (Con)

Given the recent tragic circumstances, there has inevitably been a focus on the security of Members and their staff. One aspect that is often overlooked is the fact that it is our staff who are on the frontline in receiving the abusive emails and correspondence, and they take the hostile phone calls. They are private citizens, simply trying to earn a living, put food on the table and pay for their rent or their mortgage, yet they are caught up in this vicious cycle of venom and abuse that is directed towards us. Will my right hon. Friend take this opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic work that our staff do and give them the credit that they so rightly deserve?

The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)

I think that my hon. Friend spoke there for the entire House of Commons, because we all know that it is our staff, our caseworkers and our office managers who are so often in the frontline, who have to deal with anger, with intemperate behaviour and with abuse, and they cope with it magnificently. We all know the risks that they run in their daily lives and, indeed, we have seen how some House of Commons staff have paid for their sacrifice even with their lives. I thoroughly echo, support and concur with what my hon. Friend said.