British parliament
British parliamentReuters

British MP Mike Freer has announced that he would be leaving politics after years of death threats, in part due to his support of Israel.

"As you can imagine this has not been an easy decision," the Conservative politician wrote in a letter announcing that he would not seek reelection as MP for the Finchley and Golders Green sections of London.

Last month, Freer's office was targeted in an arson attack damaging three three floors at the back of the building.

The MP also narrowly escaped murderer Ali Harbi Ali, who went on to kill Tory MP Sir David Amess in 2021. Before killing Amess, Ali had visited Freer’s consistency office.

Freer cites the near murder, the recent arson attack, and being targeted by the banned Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades, as the reasons for his decision, saying that they "have weighed heavily on me and my husband, Angelo."

He noted that: "These serious incidents are alongside the many 'low level' incidents. No MP can operate effectively without the support of their spouse and wider family. Sadly the serious incidents place intolerable stress on them too."

The MP addressed his constituents, writing: "It will be an enormous wrench to step down, it has been the privilege of my life to serve the wonderfully diverse and vibrant area that is Finchley & Golders Green. Serving the constituents and getting things done is what makes the job worthwhile."

Freer has been outspoken on Israel and a strong supporter of the Jewish community in his constituency. He said the abuse he faced for challenging antisemitism was “a factor” in his resignation. He went on, "I don't think we can divorce" antisemitism from the intimidation.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews reacted to MP Freer's announcement: "Since his election as an MP in 2010, Mike Freer has been one of the Jewish community's most stalwart supporters in British politics. The fact that he has decided not to seek nomination again as an MP due in part to the threats and abuse he has received should be widespread cause for concern. We thank Mike for his service as MP for the constituency with the largest Jewish community in the country, and are proud to call him a friend."

Former Home Secretary MP Suella Braverman commented "Mike Freer MP is a first class politician and public servant. That he has been hounded out of office by Islamists is a serious indictment of where we are as a society.

She added: "For months, hateful marches have become a regular fixture around the country. Authorities (councils, universities & the police) have turned a blind eye to flagrant racism towards Jewish people, and essentially, antisemitism has become acceptable & normalized on our streets.

According to her: "The truth is that the lack of robust policing and prosecution has emboldened these bad actors. They believe they can get away with horrendous behavior. And this is one very sad consequence.

"I proposed changes to the law to clamp down on extremism and antisemitism. I urge the government to implement them urgently."

Braverman lamented: "Parliament should not be losing people like Mike. MPs must be free to speak up for their communities without fear."