MP David Amess dead after stabbing at constituency surgery
Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in Essex.
The attack took place at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh at about midday. Essex Police said a 25-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder. Counter-terror police are involved in the early investigation.
Sir David, who was first elected to parliament in 1983, leaves a wife and five children. The 69-year-old was praised as “the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet” whose “every word and act were marked by kindness”, as tributes flooded in from parliamentary colleagues.
Commons speaker also raises security concerns
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, has issued a statement following Sir David Amess’ killing.
He said: “I am shocked and deeply distressed by the killing of Sir David Amess.
“David was a lovely man, devoted to his family, to parliament and his Southend West constituency. He was well-liked by members and the staff alike, and during his almost four decades here built a reputation for kindness and generosity.
“This is an incident that will send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country.
“In the coming days we will need to discuss and examine MPs’ security and any measures to be taken, but for now, our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 16:15
David Amess wrote about security concerns following Jo Cox’s murder
David Amess wrote in his book Ayes & Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster about how MPs had responded to the murder of Jo Cox.
Sir David particularly addressed the subject of constituency surgeries, referencing in particular the attack on Nigel Jones in 2000 by a sword-wielding assailant, in which one of the MP’s aides was killed. “It could happen to any of us,” Sir David observed.
After going on to discuss the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, he wrote: “There can be no doubt that as a result of these heightened security concerns most members have modified or changed the way they interact with the general public.
“The Commons authorities have taken threats very seriously and have issued guidance for the safety and security of not only members, but their families. This includes security in their own home.
“I myself have over the years experienced nuisance from the odd member of the general public at my own property. We regularly check our locks and many others have CCTV cameras installed, but probably the most significant change has been with constituency surgeries.
“The British tradition has always been that members of parliament regularly make themselves available for constituents to meet them face-to-face at their surgeries. Now advice has been given to be more careful when accepting appointments.
“We are advised never to see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure.
“In short, these increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians.”
Sir David went on to lament the abuse MPs suffered on social media from unaccountable and unnamed trolls.
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 16:01
Flags lowered in Westminster
Flags have been lowered to half mast outside parliament following the death of Southend MP Sir David Amess.
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:58
Calls for security review after stabbing
Security arrangements for MPs should be reviewed in the wake of David Amess’ murder at a constituency surgery event, according to an ex-parliamentarian.
Harvey Proctor, Sir David’s predecessor as Basildon representative, also paid tribute to the slain MP.
He told the PA news agency: “The news that my friend David Amess has been attacked and died in his constituency is horrible.
“David took over my Basildon constituency in 1983. My thoughts and best wishes go to his wife Julia and their children and his family.
“He supported me in good times and in bad. He was a wonderful member of parliament for Basildon and Southend-on-Sea West.
“It’s now time to consider again the security of MPs, especially when they are present at fixed events and times such as constituency surgeries.
“Our parliamentary democracy is under threat and parliament must respond.”
Sir David had advertised the surgery, which is a regular opportunity for constituents to air their views and seek assistance, on his Twitter page on Tuesday, giving the location and contact details to book an appointment.
In another tribute statement, the former MP Denis Macshane reflected: “Five years ago Jo Cox. Now this. Rise of hate in politics in 21st century is so worrying.”
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:49
Ex-PM Cameron says murder ‘devastating’
David Cameron, the former PM, has called Sir David Amess’ murder “devastating”.
Mr Cameron tweeted: “This is the most devastating, horrific & tragic news. David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man – & he was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet. Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today. Right now, my heart goes out to David’s family.”
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:41
Read more: Tributes flood in for ‘hugely kind and good’ MP
Tributes have flooded in for the Conservative Party MP Sir David Amess after he was stabbed to death at a surgery meeting in his Essex constituency, writes Adam Forrest.
Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie said the shocking news of Sir David’s death in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday was “absolutely devastating”.
Ms Johnson added: “He was hugely kind and good. An enormous animal lover and a true gent. This is so completely unjust. Thoughts are with his wife and their children.”
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:34
Tributes begin to come in for Sir David
Sir David Amess, who has died aged 69 after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in Essex, has been hailed as a “true parliamentarian” by colleagues.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said of the Southend West MP: “A dedicated, thoughtful man and a true parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
And Sajid Javid, the health secretary, tweeted: “Devastated to learn of Sir David Amess’ murder. A great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role. My heart goes out to Julia, his family, and all who loved him. Let us remember him and what he did with his life.”
Michael Gove added: “David Amess’s passing is heart-breakingly sad. Just terrible, terrible news. He was a good and gentle man, he showed charity and compassion to all, his every word and act were marked by kindness. My heart goes out to his family.”
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:24
Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed
Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in Leigh, Essex.
Essex Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh on Sea.
“We were called to Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm.
“Sadly, a man later died.
“A man was arrested at the scene.
“We are not looking for anyone else.”
You can read our full report below:
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:06
Brendan Cox condemns ‘attack on democracy’
Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, has commented on the attack on Sir David Amess.
He wrote on Twitter: “Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets.”
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:05
Eyewitness describes ‘distressing’ scenes after stabbing of MP David Amess
Eyewitness describes ‘distressing’ scenes after stabbing ff MP David Amess
Jon Sharman15 October 2021 15:01