British lawmaker, David Amess, a member of Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, has died after being stabbed several times at a constituency meeting in east of London.
Amess, a Member of Parliament who represented Southend West in Essex, was attacked at around midday Thursday by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district being held in a Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
Essex police said:
He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.
A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.
The UK’s Counter Terrorism Command will lead the investigation into the murder, police said later Friday.
Ben-Julian Harrington, Chief Constable of Essex Police, told reporters:
It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident. But as always, they will keep an open mind.
The killing was another grim moment in Britain’s political history. It marks the second murder of a sitting British lawmaker in five years, after Labour MP, Jo Cox, was killed in her constituency in 2016, and has reignited discussions about the safety of the UK’s elected officials.
The country’s political, religious and societal leaders, and its royal family, all condemned the attack and paid tribute to Amess.
Those who knew him described Amess as a dedicated local representative, deeply embedded within his community and disinterested in the careerism of national politics.
Boris Johnson was joined by all of his living predecessors in expressing shock, and lawmakers from every corner of the political spectrum spoke of their sadness, their concern, and their anger after another of their colleagues was killed while meeting with his constituents.