DEATH threats were sent to the leader of South Gloucestershire Council ahead of previous elections, she has revealed.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Claire Young said that violent threats “can’t stop us from taking part in democracy”, as fears grow for the safety of politicians.

The council leader also revealed she would stand down from her role, if she won an MP seat at the next general election, which is expected to be held later this year.

Cllr Young has been council leader for less than a year, but is the prospective parliamentary candidate for Thornbury and Yate.

Last week the government announced £31 million will be spent on extra security for MPs.

Speaking to John Darvall on BBC Radio Bristol on Wednesday, February 28, Cllr Young spoke about the rising safety threats faced by politicians.

She said: “I have experienced threats in previous elections.

"It’s sadly something that you do face, but I would say on the whole I haven’t let them put me off. I happily get out there, I’m out there every week meeting people.

“There are some people, who will pick up on whatever issue, who are predisposed to behaving in this way.

"Most people, however passionately they feel about something, are not going to do things like sending death threats.

"The vast majority of people don’t do things like that.

“People who make threats generally don’t follow through on them.

"We can’t let that stop us from taking part in democracy.

"We have to have people to represent us, I think I’ve got something to offer the people of Thornbury and Yate, and I’ve been working hard at the moment for the people of South Gloucestershire.”

Cllr Young became council leader in May last year, after the Liberal Democrats and Labour took control of South Gloucestershire in a coalition.

However, she said she would stand down from the role, if she were to become an MP in the upcoming general election.

She said: “I would let somebody else take over, because I think it’s important to focus on the job and not try to do too much.

"The amount of time I’m putting in at the moment in this job, I think it would be unfair to residents.”