Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Saturday, 15 May 2010 11:12 UK

Cheltenham Lib Dem peer urges MPs to improve security

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones was attacked in his office in Cheltenham in January 2000

A former Gloucestershire MP, who was stabbed 10 years ago during a surgery, is urging politicians to improve their security after another attack.

Liberal democrat peer Nigel Jones was Cheltenham's MP when he was wounded and his aide, Andrew Pennington, stabbed to death with a sword in January 2000.

Robert Ashman was jailed for the attempted murder of Mr Jones and Mr Pennington's manslaughter.

Lord Jones said the recent stabbing of MP Stephen Timms was "shocking".

'Security button'

Speaking about his experience, Lord Jones said: "We did have what we called our 'loony list' which had a dozen people on who we thought might be a little difficult, but the person who attacked me on the day was not on that list.

"He seemed entirely plausible but we subsequently learned that he had a mental health problem. We hope that's cleared up now because he's out on the streets."

After the attack, Lord Jones said they put more emphasis on security measures.

He said: "We had a security button put in the office which we only used once and we were just very cautious. We changed over to an appointments system rather than just a queuing system.

"I just hope that Stephen takes his time to come back, it took me a while. Of course I had a court case to deal with over the next three years because of the death of my good friend Andrew Pennington."

MP for East Ham, Mr Timms, 54, was stabbed twice in the stomach at a constituency event on Friday. He is recovering in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A 21-year-old woman was arrested after the attack on Mr Timms and police said a knife had been recovered from the scene.



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