British politician David Amess has died after stabbing while visiting his constituency. According to bystanders, the 69-year-old politician was stabbed several times by a man. At that time, the parliamentarian was in a church in Leigh-on-Sea for his weekly meeting with residents of his constituency.
Shortly after the stabbing incident, officers detained a 25-year-old suspect carrying a knife. According to British media, it is a British of Somali origin. The Independent writes that police consider the case a “possible Islamic terror attack”. The investigation is in the hands of the police unit that specializes in terrorism.
The police assume the perpetrator was acting alone and are not looking for other suspects. Nothing is known about the motive of the attack yet.
“We are all shocked and sad,” Prime Minister Johnson said after a special cabinet session against the BBC. “Everyone is deeply touched.” Johnson named Amess one of the friendliest and courteous people in politics. On Downing Street 10, the Prime Ministers office residence, the flag hangs half-stick.
Decades in the House of Commons
Sir David Amess was in the House of Commons on behalf of the Conservatives. He was among the longest-serving members of Parliament: since 1983 he was a member of the House of Commons, initially for the Basildon constituency and since 1997 for Southwest West, northeast of London.
Amess spearheads included animal welfare and abortion countering. He was also an avid supporter of Brexit. In his constituency, he makes himself popular because he managed to acquire city rights for the seaside town of Southend.
In 2016, the UK was shocked by the murder of Labour Parliamentarian Jo Cox. She was also attacked while visiting her constituency. The perpetrator, a man with Nazi dislikes, got life.
Coxs husband calls the attack on Amess an attack on democracy: “Attacking elected representatives is as cowardly as it gets,” he tweeted.
The Jo Cox Foundation, which was founded in memory of Cox, also responds to the news via Twitter:
Several British politicians react shocked to the attack on Amess. London mayor Sadiq Kahn speaks of “terrible news”, as well as LibDem leader Ed Davey and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. Former Prime Minister David Cameron wishes Amesss family a lot of strength through social media.
Labour Parliamentarian Darren Jones calls Amess on Twitter “one of the most beautiful and dedicated MPs in the House of Commons”. Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi says Amess will be missed by many and praises his “unbridled commitment” for the less fortunate, the inhabitants of his constituency and also for animals.
Vera Bergkamp, President of the House of Representatives, also shares her condolences:
David Amess was married and had five children.