A Conservative member of Parliament has been forced to cancel her Saturday constituency surgery by pro-migrant protesters, who vowed to picket it. One asked organisers on social media whether they could “throw eggs”. They have now planned to hold a ‘vigil’ outside her constituency office instead.
Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns, who ousted former Labour Chancellor Ed Balls at the last election, has confirmed that this morning’s planned surgery at Drighlington Community Library had to be cancelled amid “security” fears following advice from the police.
Last week Ms Jenkyns voted in line with her Conservative colleagues to block a Lords amendment which would have seen 3,000 migrant children taken from French migrant camps and rehomed within the UK as asylum seekers, introduced by Labour Peer Lord Dubs. The motion to pass the amendment fell by 294 to 276 on Monday.
But her vote has attracted the wrath of a pro-migrant group based in her neighbouring constituency of Wakefield.
Wakefield constituency itself is represented by a Labour member of Parliament, prompting We Are Wakefield to instead alight on Ms Jenkyns as a target as she is geographically the closest MP to them to have opposed the amendment.
Their plan to picket the surgery at the library was designed to persuade Ms Jenkyns to reconsider her stance and back a new amendment being brought by Lord Dubs. The new draft calls on the government to allow the children in but does not stipulate a number; instead, the government would negotiate with local councils to set an individual figure for each authority.
“We were going to protest peacefully and show pictures to highlight the plight of these 3,000 children who have got the right to be here,” said Leda Prest, a member of We Are Wakefield.
“We’re going to have a vigil to ask her to vote for the Dubs amendment.”
She said that the group had been inspired by trips to Calais and Dunkirk, where she claims to have seen children as young as three years old travelling unaccompanied.
But Ms Jenkyns has told the Yorkshire Post that she decided to cancel the surgery following a number of troubling comments on social media regarding the planned protest. One read “can we throw eggs?”
She said she also did not want to put her constituents through the ordeal of walking through a hostile crowd.
Up to 30 Conservative members are expected to rebel against the Government when the new Dubs amendment comes to the Commons on May 9th, wiping out the Government’s working majority of 18 members.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Our campaign to offer sanctuary to the most vulnerable refugee children in Europe is gathering momentum.”