Two people who were charged with arson after a fire in the shed of a Tory MP’s constituency office will face a crown court trial.

The blaze on Christmas Eve December 24 damaged the shed in Ballards Lane, Finchley, outside the office of Conservative MP Mike Freer, who has represented the Finchley and Golders Green constituency since 2010.

Paul Harwood, 42, and Zara Kasory, 32, were arrested last Wednesday (January 3) and charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

The two were further charged with one count of arson without intent to endanger life relating to a fire behind a restaurant in Long Lane, Finchley, at around 11pm the same night.

After appearing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on January 4, the two have been sent to Harrow Crown Court for a trial in custody.

Kasory, of Woodhouse Road, North Finchley, and Harwood, of Ballards Lane, will both appear in court on February 1.

Following the blaze, Mr Freer told Sky News that he has been wearing a stab vest whenever he attends public events, ever since the MP for Southend West Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in 2021.

He said: "Sadly it's becoming part of the job, and it shouldn't be.

"Too many MPs have had to cope with physical threats and sadly we've seen several of my colleagues lose their lives."

Mr Freer continued: "It is difficult to take it in your stride, but it is a fundamental part of our democracy that MPs are accessible to our constituents and I wouldn't want that to change.

"Unfortunately, that goes with risks these days. I personally, like some of my other colleagues, wear stab vests if I do public events and sadly that is par for the course these days.

"And it shouldn't be, but the accessibility of MPs is a fundamental part of our British democratic traditions."

He also previously speculated that it could have been linked to the Israel Hamas war in Gaza because of his views on the Middle East – but the Metropolitan Police have since said this is not being treated as a hate crime.