Police say David Amess MP murder was act of terrorism

David Amess MP. Pic: UK Parliament

The killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess is being treated as a terrorist incident by police.

Amess was stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on Friday.

Police said there was a “potential link to Islamist extremism.” A 25-year-old British man of Somalian heritage was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.

Officers are carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area and are not seeking anyone else over the death.

They believe the man acted alone but inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are continuing.

Following the murder, Southend Mosque posted the following statement:

Yesterday the Muslim Council of Britain said it “sends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David Amess MP, who was brutally murdered today in the course of performing his duties as an MP.

“From attending the launch of the first Muslim Scouts group in Southend in 2013 to meeting the Imam of Southend Mosque in July this year, Sir David will be remembered fondly by local Muslim communities.”

Secretary-General Zara Mohammed added: “Sir David’s murder is deeply upsetting and our thoughts and prayers are with all those grieving his loss at this time. That he was murdered in the course of performing his duties as a parliamentarian, highlights the danger politicians in the public eye face.

“The vitality of democracy rests on the accessibility of our elected representatives. They must be allowed to serve their constituents without threats to their safety.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer laid flowers at the scene together on Saturday morning.

Amess had been an MP since 1983 and was married with five children. He is the second serving MP to be killed in the past five years, following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

A Conservative backbencher for nearly 40 years, he entered parliament in 1983 as the MP for Basildon. He held the seat in 1992, but switched to nearby Southend West at the 1997 election.

Raised as a Roman Catholic, he was known politically as a social conservative and as a prominent campaigner against abortion and on animal welfare issues. He also consistently voted for British military intervention, including the Iraq war.

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