MP David Amess stabbed to death
Man arrested following attack at the Conservative MP’s constituency surgery in Essex
Police have arrested a man after the fatal stabbing of Conservative MP David Amess at his Essex constituency office.
Amess, the MP for Southend West since 1997, was “stabbed multiple times” at Belfairs Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, according to Sky News.
“Paramedics tried for two hours to save the 69-year-old father-of-five, but he died of his injuries,” The Telegraph reported.
In a statement, Essex Police said: “We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, shortly after 12.05pm today. Officers were on scene shortly after, arrested a man and recovered a knife. He is currently in custody.
“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident and do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the wider public.”
The Guardian said that “senior counter-terrorism officials are closely monitoring the situation and are being updated on emerging details of the attack and the suspect”. Counter-terror experts “usually will stay involved in such an investigation until a non-terrorist motive is identified”, the paper added.
MPs and members of the public have been paying tribute to Amess, who was knighted in the 2015 New Year Honours for political and public service.
Amess was “known politically as a social conservative and as a prominent campaigner against abortion and on animal welfare issues”, said the BBC.
The London-born MP - who first entered Parliament in 1983 as the MP for Basildon - was also known for his “championing of Southend, including a long-running campaign to win city status for the town”, the broadcaster added.
Judith Canham, deputy chair of Southend’s Conservative Club, described Amess as a “true constituency MP” and a “friend to everyone”.
“How anybody could harm a kind man like David I don’t know,” she told Sky News. “Words can’t say, he’s such a lovely man who is liked across the parties.”
Carrie Johnson tweeted that his death was “absolutely devastating news”. Amess was “hugely kind and good”, she wrote, “an enormous animal lover and a true gent”.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid also paid tribute to “a great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role”.
Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove tweeted that Amess was “a good and gentle man” who “showed charity and compassion to all”.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab described Amess as “a formidable campaigner with a big heart, and tremendous generosity of spirit - including towards those he disagreed with”.
The stabbing was “as cowardly as it gets”, said Brendan Cox, widower of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a far-right terrorist in 2016 shortly before she was due to hold a surgery.
“Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification,” he tweeted.
Labour MP Cox was killed six years after Labour MP Stephen Timms was stabbed twice in the stomach at a constituency surgery by a student radicalised by online videos.
In 2000, Andrew Pennington, an assistant to Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones, was stabbed to death while protecting his boss from an attacker who stormed his constituency office armed with a sword.