Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell says that he was attacked by a man in his constituency office on Wickham Road last Friday. The police were called, and according to Barwell it was subsequently discovered that the man was carrying a knife.
In an email to constituents sent yesterday, the Conservative MP said, “On Friday, a constituent came to see me on the pretext of having a valid piece of casework for us to take up. This proved not to be the case and he refused to leave when asked, became verbally aggressive, used racially abusive language and threatened to kill me in front of my staff.
“He was subsequently arrested and found to be in possession of a knife. I am very grateful to Croydon Police for their prompt attendance.”
Note that: Barwell has chosen to highlight that the man was carrying a knife, though he was unaware of this until after the police arrest.
Barwell said, “In the light of this incident, the police have advised that for the moment the office should be locked. I have reluctantly taken this advice. I have always wanted to be as accessible as possible, but clearly my first duty is to ensure the safety of the people I employ.” Such touching concern for others…
This piece of information is carried as the lead item in the MP’s email to constituents (and others whose details he and his team have data-scraped in the past), so must be considered more important to Barwell than any other matters, such as the EU Referendum and constituency concerns.
Barwell adopted his full-on Uriah Heep mode for the email, with his account of the alleged assault coming under the heading of “Apology”. It is unclear from the copy that follows whether this heading is being used as a self-descriptor by Barwell.
Inside Croydon has been in touch with Scotland Yard. We wanted the police to help in our enquiries. We are awaiting confirmation from the Met whether anyone has been charged as a result of the incident. Or not. Barwell doesn’t say in his email.
This is not the first time recently that a Croydon Tory MP has called out the police claiming to be in fear of their lives. Tricky Dicky Ottaway, the former MP for Croydon South, dialled 999 – or probably had someone do it for him – during one of his scheduled surgeries when a gaggle of fewer than a dozen pensioners turned up to hand him a petition.
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