Tributes paid to Leigh-on-Sea veteran politician as man arrested on suspicion of murder
The fatal stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess has been declared a terrorist incident.
The 69-year-old, who had been an MP since 1983, was attacked while meeting constituents during a routine surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, at midday on Friday.
A 25-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder is in custody at an Essex police station.
The suspect is believed to be a British national with Somali heritage, though this has not yet been confirmed by police.
As part of the investigation, officers are also carrying out searches at two addresses in London.
Home secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect” following the attack.
Tory veteran Sir David, who was described by prime minister Boris Johnson as “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics”, had been an MP since 1983 and was married with five children.
In pictures: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer lay flowers at church where MP was killed
Prime minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have laid flowers at the church where Tory MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death on Friday.
The two party leaders were joined by home secretary Priti Patel and Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, this morning.
Boris Johnson and Priti Patel arrive in Leigh-on-Sea
Prime minister Boris Johnson and home secretary Priti Patel have arrived in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, to pay tribute to late Tory MP Sir David Amess.
Mr Johnson laid a wreath at the front of Belfairs Methodist Church, where Sir David was fatally stabbed on Friday.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle are also in the town.
Police to contact every MP over security
Every MP will be contacted by police to discuss their security arrangements, says National Police Chiefs’ Council.
A spokesperson said: “In light of yesterday’s tragic attack every MP will be contacted individually by Op Bridger representatives in their local force to discuss their security arrangements, and to ensure they are aware of all advice pertaining to their personal safety and security.
“They will also speak to MPs about security arrangements for any events they are planning to attend in the coming days, so the appropriate advice can be provided.
“We encourage MPs to immediately report any security concerns to their local police force in order to keep themselves, their staff and members of the public attending surgeries safe.
“Funding is available through the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority for security needs based on threat assessments made by police.”
Councillor says Sir David would not have approved of online constituent meetings
Councillor Kevin Buck, deputy chairman of the Southend West constituency association, has said he is against moving MPs’ surgery meetings to Zoom after the death of colleague Sir David Amess.
Mr Buck said he did not believe Sir David would have wanted meetings to go online, nor would he have wanted extra protection such as metal detectors and a police presence at face-to-face talks with constituents.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: “I don’t think he would have approved, I personally don’t approve really, I know we have to take our own personal safety very seriously, but I enjoy, as Sir David did, meeting the people.
“That’s why we do this, so that we can lead the people and help the people and I don’t want to do that from behind a TV screen or from behind the glass screen or a security box because then we’ve lost.”
Tobias Ellwood urges MPs to pause face-to-face constituent meetings
A former Conservative minister has urged his fellow MPs to stop offering face-to-face meetings with constituents following the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess.
Tobias Ellwood, who attempted to save the life of P Keith Palmer following a terror attack on Westminster in 2017, told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight programme: “I would recommend that no MP has a direct surgery until you can move to Zoom. There are other ways.
“You can actually achieve an awful lot over the telephone, you can get things moving far faster than having to wait for the surgery date as well.”
Fatal stabbing of Tory MP declared terrorist incident
The fatal stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who was killed while meeting constituents at a routine public surgery on Friday, has been declared as a terrorist incident.
The 69-year-old suffered multiple injuries in the attack at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
Police said a 25-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Counter terror detectives are investigating his motivations as officers carry out searches at two London addresses.
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Suspect, 25, is believed to be a British national of Somali origin, and remains in custody
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage following the fatal stabbing of Conservative MP David Amess in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Stay tuned for rolling updates throughout the day.