UK lawmaker to give up seat in Jewish area of London over safety threats

British lawmaker Mike Freer, who represents an area in London with a large Jewish population, said he would be giving up his parliamentary seat at the next election after receiving a series of threats, including an arson attack on his office.Freer, who is not Jewish, has represented the Finchley and Golders Green constituency since 2010. He cited “several serious threats to my personal safety” in a letter explaining his decision not to seek re-election later this year.

A man who went on to kill lawmaker David Amess in 2021 in what he said was revenge for the lawmaker’s support for air strikes on Syria also carried out reconnaissance at Freer’s office prior to that attack.

In a separate interview with the Daily Mail, Freer said: “There comes a point when the threats to your personal safety become too much and also too much for our spouses and our family.”

Reports of antisemitic abuse in Britain have risen sharply in the months following the Oct. 7 Hamas assault in southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people and triggered an Israeli military onslaught in Gaza.

Freer, a member of the governing Conservative Party, has campaigned against antisemitism and previously described himself as pro-Israel.

Asked whether he felt antisemitism had motivated some of the threats and abuse he received, Freer told the Daily Mail it was hard to discount that in some cases.

“Whether people make a threat because they think I’m Jewish, or because of my views on the Middle East, who really knows? But clearly, my constituency is at the sharp end of antisemitism,” he said.


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