A Home Office minister and Sussex MP has advised residents to carry on as normal despite the Government announcing that the UK’s terror rating had been increased to “severe”.

Norman Baker said residents altering their behaviour would be a “victory” for terrorists.

The Lewes MP was speaking to The Argus after the Home Office raised the terrorism risk rating to its second highest level suggesting that a terrorist attack was “highly likely”.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the increase was in response to developments in Syria and Iraq and she warned that terrorist plots were likely to involve fighters who have travelled to the Middle East from the UK and Europe.

In addition, Prime Minister David Cameron announced new laws to crack down on terror suspects with legislation set to make it easier to seize jihadists’ passports.

The Home Office yesterday told residents to be alert and to look out for any suspicious bags on public transport.

The Association of Chief Police Officers said there would be an increase in visible patrols and other security measures in response to raised terror alert.

Mr Baker said: “Residents should carry on as normal.

“If we alter our behaviour it is a victory for those who seek to destroy our liberty.

“I can’t predict where things are going. The world is in an unstable place at the moment, possibly more so now than in a long time, and it is right that the Government takes proper precautions and right that people carry on as normal.”

Inspector Pete Dommett from the Prevent team for Sussex Police said: “We are working hard to actively detect and disrupt any terrorist threats and urge people to be vigilant.

“We have serious concerns that anyone travelling to Syria and Iraq for humanitarian or other reasons may be targeted by terrorist groups who want to recruit them.” Police said officers at Gatwick were working to keep the public safe.