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The parliamentary authorities have emailed MPs advising them to take the ‘most discreet’ route when travelling around Westminster. This follows increasing levels of abuse towards politicians and journalists on College Green, the space opposite parliament where, during times of political crisis, a lot of television interviews take place.
Yesterday Owen Jones and Tory MP Anna Soubry were particularly targeted by a group of pro-Brexit protesters, apparently inspired by the likes of the gilet jaunes movement in France and Donald Trump in America. This is not the first time, and they are not alone: Sky presenters Kay Burley and Faisal Islam have both been particularly targeted.
That MPs have to be given this advice is depressing, and a clear sign that the police should be doing more.
But the real story here is about the degradation of our political culture. This cannot simply be laid at the door of the 2016 referendum – like success, this problem has many parents. This week’s actions are clearly those of the political right – most likely far right – but their emboldening did not occur in a vacuum, and the blame is broader than simply those who harangue Jones and Soubry. We can condemn them, but we should also ask ourselves: what are we going to do about it?
-Conor Pope, deputy editor
Today on Progress
Matt Hancock’s fascination with tech is papering over the cracks in our health service, writes Nathan Hodson
The Progressive Britain Podcast
This week, MPs return to parliament ahead of next week’s big vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. Initially scheduled for last month, the vote was postponed under concern that it would fail to pass.
But is the agreement any different now? Have any MPs changed their mind? And what role will Labour members now play in shaping the course of Brexit.
Stephanie Lloyd and Alison McGovern discuss the mood in parliament this week, while Conor Pope chats to Tim Bale about new research he has led into Labour members’ views on Brexit.
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Today on twitter
No one tell Piers
The LabourSay campaign is has reached a crucial moment – in less than two weeks parliament will have voted on the Prime Minister’s shocking Brexit deal, so we have less than 14 days to make sure that it’s voted down.
Here’s what you can do:
Five things to read today
‘Managed no deal?’ That’s just more Brexit snake oil
Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes, Guardian
Why eSports players need to unionise in 2019
William Welser, Wired UK
What does Amber Rudd pausing Universal Credit really mean?
Anoosh Chakelian, New Statesman
Oh Jeremy Corbyn! Why did Labour party membership soar after the 2015 general election?
Pual Whiteley, Monica Poletti and Paul Webb, British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Climate change is eating England’s coast
Lucy Harley-McKeown, Outline
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