ABUSE targeted at MPs has included death threats and a stabbing, with the stress putting relationships under strain and recipients being treated for anxiety and depression, new research suggested yesterday.
Researchers found that four out of five MPs who responded to a survey had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour.
Of 239 MPs who took part in the survey, 192 had experienced problems, half of whom had been targeted in their own homes, and 36 said they were too afraid to go out in public.
A further 43 said they had been subject to attack or attempted attacks, 101 said they had received threats to harm them and 52 had faced threats of property damage.
“One MP described how his marriage was close to breakdown as his wife blamed him for the persistent amorous intrusions of a female constituent,” the report published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology said.
Labour MP Stephen Timms, who was stabbed twice in the stomach in 2010 by a woman who tried to murder him for voting for the Iraq war, suggested it would be difficult to ramp up security.
He told The Observer: “After what happened to me I was offered a knife arch for my surgeries but I refused because that just makes it more difficult for people to come and see you.
It isn’t the MP I want to be.”
Comments from the MPs who took part included: “Pulled a knife on me in the surgery,” “repeatedly punched me in the face,” “came at me with a hammer,” “hit with a brick,” “shot with air rifle” and “numerous reports of death threats, both in person and by mail, and of bomb threats.”