UK MP David Amess Stabbed To Death in a Church in Eastern England
By Staff, Agencies
British Member of Parliament David Amess, 69, has died after being stabbed several times during a meeting with his constituents at a church in eastern England. A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested.
Reports said a man walked into Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, south Essex, where Amess was holding a surgery with locals on Friday and attacked the politician.
“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene,” police said. “A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.”
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police has said that the murder Amess has been declared as a “terrorist incident”, with the investigation being led by its Terrorism Command, the agency said in a statement posted on social media.
Detectives said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. There was no detail about the motivation for the attack but the chief constable of Essex police later said counterterrorism officers are leading the investigation.
“The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counterterrorism command,” Ben-Julian Harrington told reporters.
“It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident.”
Colleagues from across parliament expressed their shock and sorrow and paid tribute to Amess, who held regular meetings with voters on the first and third Fridays of the month, saying he was diligent in his duties to his local area. Amess leaves behind a wife and five children.
Flags in Downing Street were lowered in tribute.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he and his cabinet were “deeply shocked and heart-stricken.”
Violence against British politicians is rare, but two other British lawmakers have been attacked this century during their “surgeries”, regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints.
In June 2016, Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in her northern England constituency. A member of the far right was convicted of her murder.
In 2010, Labour lawmaker Stephen Timms survived a stabbing in his constituency office.