UK upgrades threat level against MPs following lawmaker's killing

Home secretary tells MPs their threat level upgraded to ‘substantial’, meaning attack against them is ‘likely’

Karim El-Bar   | 21.10.2021
UK upgrades threat level against MPs following lawmaker's killing Anti-terror police search the family property of the man suspected of murdering Sir David Amess in London, United Kingdom on October 17, 2021 ( Raşid Necati Aslım - Anadolu Agency )


British Home Secretary Priti Patel told MPs in parliament on Wednesday that following an independent review, the threat level that they face has been upgraded to “substantial”, which means an attack against them is “likely”.

It was commissioned by Patel following the killing of Sir David Amess, a lawmaker who was stabbed to death last week.

The independent review was carried out by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), which has five levels of threat: low, moderate, substantial, severe and critical.

Patel said there had been a “change in risk” following the review.

"While we do not see any information or intelligence which points to any credible, specific or imminent threat, I must update the House that the threat level facing members of this House is now deemed to be substantial," she told MPs.

"This is the same level as the current national threat to the UK as a whole."

In February, the UK’s national terror threat level was downgraded from “severe” to “substantial.”

Patel said: “I can assure the House (of Commons) that our world-class security and intelligence agencies and counter-terror police will now ensure this change is properly reflected in their operational posture.”

“I will always ensure face-to-face contact, robust debate and the wider benefits of our democracy are defended and protected,” she said. “But we must all take this change in risk seriously.”

Patel then called on MPs to make use of the security provisions and support available to them.

“As well as for our own sake, we have a duty of care to protect our staff and the general public,” she said.

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