A pro-Israel parliamentarian representing an area of London with a large Orthodox Jewish population announced Wednesday that he will not run in Britain’s next general elections.
In a letter to the chairman of the Conservative Party’s Finchley and Golders Green branch, MP Mike Freer did not cite a specific reason for his decision not to seek reelection, but noted several “serious threats” to his safety since entering parliament in 2010.
“The attacks by Muslims Against Crusades, Ali Harbi Ali and the recent arson attack (where the motive remains unclear) have weighed heavily on me and my husband, Angelo. These serious incidents are alongside the many ‘low level’ incidents.” Freer wrote. “No MP can operate effectively without the support of their spouse and wider family. Sadly the serious incidents place intolerable stress on them too.”
He added that it would be “an enormous wrench” to resign and said it was “the privilege of my life” to serve the constituency, while vowing his continued support for the Conservatives.
A justice minister and the MP for Finchley and Golders Green, home to one of London’s largest Orthodox Jewish communities, Freer is an outspoken supporter of Israel, and has been vocal in his support of the Jewish state in its war on Palestinian terror group Hamas.
His announcement came weeks after a suspected arson attack at his constituency office last month, which police opened an investigation into. He said at the time that the possible arson was just “one of the many threats” he has recently faced.
Freer is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel. In 2014, he resigned as parliamentary secretary so he could vote “No” on a resolution to recognize the state of Palestine.
At the time, Freer said the two-state solution “should be the end, not the start of the process.”
In 2021, police notified Freer that his office had been monitored by Ali Harbi Ali, who went on to murder MP David Amess, and planned to kill other Tory leaders. Freer was unexpectedly absent from his office the day Ali came to stalk him. Since then, the MP and his staff have worn stab vests and carry panic alarms.