British united in mourning murdered MP Amess

British Prime Minister Johnson laid flowers at the church where House member of Commons and party mate David Amess was stabbed to death yesterday afternoon. Opposition leader Keir Starmer (Labour), Interior Minister Priti Patel and House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle also put a bouquet and commemorated the murdered politician with a moment of silence.

The political opponents put together a wreath at the crime scene:

At the House of Commons in London, people have also left flowers for Amess and next of kin tickets. On Downing Street 10, the Prime Minister‘s office residence, the flag has been hanging half-stick since yesterday afternoon.

The joint commemoration by political opponents Johnson and Starmer is seen as a sign of the shared grief across the political spectrum. โ€œThe political disaster between parties seems to fall away when something like this happens,โ€ writes Sky News political reporter Rob Powell.

Politician Safety

69-year-old Amess was stabbed several times yesterday at a meeting with residents of his constituency in Leign-on-Sea, northeast of London. Shortly after the attack, a 25-year-old suspect was arrested; according to British media, it is a British of Somali origin.

The British authorities see the attack as an act of terror. Police say the preliminary investigation has emerged a possible motive โ€œrelated to Islamic extremismโ€.

It is the second time in just over five years that a British MP has been murdered when visiting his own constituency. In 2016, Labour Parliamentarian Jo Cox was murdered on the street by a man with Nazi dislikes. The two incidents raise questions about the safety of politicians when visiting the constituency, where they are highly approachable but also vulnerable.

Measures

British Minister Patel (Home Affairs) says he is working on security measures for parliamentarians. โ€œWe’re an open society. We cannot be intimidated by an individual.โ€

According to The Daily Mirror, parliamentarians will be updated later today by local police units about any security measures. According to the newspaper, in some cases it would be advised to report visits to the constituency in advance to the police. House of Commons member and former minister Tobias Ellwood calls for the meetings to be called off for the time being.

Prominent Conservative David Davis finds it a knee drop to temporarily suspend constituency visits. He tells Sky News that Amess wouldn‘t want that either. โ€œThat wouldn’t be what David stood for. One of the most important pillars of British democracy is the direct contact between representatives and their supporters,โ€ said Davis.

Broad daylight horror

All the front pages of the major British newspapers today reflect on the attack on Amess. The Daily Mail speaks of โ€œanother attack on democracyโ€, The Guardian calls it โ€œa broad daylight horrorโ€. The Financial Times expects the attack to ensure that the safety of politicians will lead to a new debate.

The daily newspapers also consider the parliamentary work of Amess, who had been in the House of Commons for almost forty years. โ€œHe died serving the people,โ€ writes The Daily Mirror. The Daily Express recalls Amess as a โ€œfriendly veteranโ€ in politics.

Several British celebrities express their grief at the death of Amess. For example, Queen guitarist Brian May, who, like the murdered politician, is committed to animal welfare, shares the photo below on Instagram. โ€œThis man was aimabel and stood up for both humans and animals.โ€