The murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess is being treated as a terrorist incident by the police. He was stabbed multiple times at a meeting with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, at midday on Friday. A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and police say that a knife was recovered and detectives are not looking for any other suspects.
The Metropolitan Police said, “There was a potential link to Islamist extremism reported BBC news.” When he was attacked, the 69-year-old leader who represented Southend West, was meeting his constituents during “a constituency surgery”, an event described by the BBC as one were “voters can meet their MP and discuss concerns”. It was held at a church. The Metropolitan Police has said, “The fatal stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea has tonight been declared as a terrorist incident, with the investigation being led by Counter Terrorism Policing,” adding, “Early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.” Sir David had been an MP since 1983 and was the father of five. News reports pointed out that he is the second serving MP to be killed in the past five years, after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.
According to the BBC, the investigators have also asked the general public to come forth with “any information or with footage from CCTV, dash cams or video doorbell”. Meanwhile, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer laid flowers at the scene of crime, on Saturday morning. Boris Johnson hailed Sir David as “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics”, while former prime minister Theresa May said his death was “heartbreaking”, adding it was “a tragic day for our democracy” reported the Guardian. Many other leaders also paid their respects to David Amess who is being hailed as a “much loved parliamentarian.” It has been reported that investigators “will be delving deeply into the life of the suspect to understand how he reached this mindset and whether this was an attack by a “lone actor” or someone who is part of a network.”
The Guardian reported that health secretary, Sajid Javid, said he was devastated at the loss of “a great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role”, while friend and MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, called him “an amazing, kind man who knew what mattered in life” who had served his community with “his whole heart”. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said, “The worst aspect of violence is its inhumanity. It steals joy from the world and can take from us that which we love the most. Today, it took a father, a husband, and a respected colleague.”
Reuters reported that “UK’s interior minister Priti Patel, and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer were among those to lay flowers in tribute to Amess at the scene of the murder.” Politicians described the attack as “an assault on democracy”. Patel told the media that “security for lawmakers, known as MPs, was being reviewed and strengthened” and “All measures are being put in place for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties as elected democratic members. We live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual.”
According to Reuters, “in Westminster, where lawmakers do much of their work in parliament, armed police are on patrol. But in their electoral districts, known as constituencies, more often than not there is no security.”
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