David Amess stabbing: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer visit scene in Leigh-on-Sea
The homicide has shocked the nation and prompted requires a evaluation of safety measures for lawmakers finishing up constituency work.
Amess, 69 and a member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Occasion, died after being stabbed a number of occasions at round noon Friday at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of homicide and a knife was recovered, police mentioned. He’s believed to have acted alone.
“The early investigation has revealed a possible motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” the Metropolitan Police mentioned in a press release in a single day. Two addresses within the London space are being searched, the pressure mentioned.
The person arrested is believed to be a British nationwide with Somali heritage, official sources have advised UK information company PA Media. The UK’s Counter Terrorism Command is main the investigation into the killing, police mentioned Friday.
A somber-looking Johnson carried a wreath of pale roses Saturday morning to depart in entrance of the church the place Amess was attacked.
He and Starmer had been accompanied by House Secretary Priti Patel, whose authorities division is liable for policing and counter-terrorism efforts within the UK. Chief Constable of Essex Police Ben-Julian Harrington and different dignitaries additionally carried flowers to the scene.
Patel tweeted Friday that questions had been “being rightly requested” in regards to the security of lawmakers, including she “will present updates in the end.”
MPs in Britain sometimes meet with residents of their constituencies nose to nose throughout “surgical procedures,” and it’s unusual for them to have a safety element.
“Till the House Secretary’s evaluation of MP safety is full I’d suggest a brief PAUSE in nose to nose conferences,” he mentioned.
Johnson: ‘We misplaced a nice public servant’
The nation’s political, spiritual and societal leaders, and its royal household, all condemned the assault and paid tribute to Amess.
Those that knew him described Amess — who was married with 5 kids — as a devoted native consultant, deeply embedded inside his neighborhood and uninterested within the careerism of nationwide politics.
Amess entered Parliament in 1983, initially representing the Basildon constituency, and had served constantly within the Home of Commons since then, making him one of many longest-serving lawmakers within the chamber.
Lawmakers from throughout the political spectrum spoke Friday of their disappointment, concern, and anger that one other of their colleagues was killed whereas assembly with constituents.
In a press release Friday from Downing Road, Johnson mentioned the MP “was one of many kindest, nicest, most mild folks in politics.”
“David was a person who believed passionately on this nation and in its future,” Johnson mentioned. “We misplaced at the moment a nice public servant.”
Opposition chief Starmer wrote on Twitter: “Horrific and deeply stunning information. Considering of David, his household and his employees.”
Former Prime Minister David Cameron mentioned Amess was “a sort and completely first rate man” and “probably the most dedicated MP you possibly can ever hope to satisfy.”
“Phrases can not adequately categorical the horror of what has occurred at the moment. Proper now, my coronary heart goes out to David’s household,” Cameron mentioned. Cameron’s successor Theresa Might added the information was “heartbreaking” and “a tragic day for our democracy.”
And former Labour chief Tony Blair mentioned in a press release to PA Media: “David and I got here into Parliament collectively in 1983. Although on reverse political sides I all the time discovered him a courteous, first rate and completely likeable colleague who was revered throughout the Home.
“This can be a horrible and unhappy day for our democracy,” Blair mentioned.
Flags outdoors Parliament had been lowered to half employees after Amess’ loss of life.
Amess was knighted in 2015 for his political service. He supported Britain’s departure from the European Union, and his fundamental areas of experience had been animal welfare and pro-life points, in keeping with a biography on his web site.
He was not thought-about a controversial politician, and regardless of the size of his tenure, he was not a broadly identified political determine within the UK.
In a ebook he wrote final yr about being an MP, Amess mentioned Cox’s homicide was “completely surprising” and the occasion had modified the way in which MPs work together with members of the general public, notably in relation to constituency surgical procedures.
“These rising assaults have quite spoilt the good British custom of the folks brazenly assembly their elected politicians,” he wrote. “I personally have over time skilled nuisance from the odd member of most of the people at my very own property. We frequently examine our locks.”
CNN’s Nada Bashir and Nic Robertson reported from Leigh-on-Sea and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite and Rob Picheta contributed to this report.