The investigation into the murder of Sir David Amess is being carried out by the British police department dealing with terrorism. The 69-year-old parliamentarian was stabbed to death in a church in his constituency in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday afternoon. A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested on suspicion of murder. The police are not looking for any other suspects. Several UK media reports that this is a suspect with a Somali background.
The stabbing incident happened around noon at Belfairs Methodist Church, a small and “lively and friendly” church, where he spoke.
According to Sky News, a man walked in and stabbed Amess several times. He was treated at the scene. The arrival of a trauma helicopter to no avail; about four hours after the incident, Amesss death was officially announced.
The police report that it is presumably one offender. There is no search for any accomplices.
Little is known about the perpetrator. His motive will be explored. The 25-year-old man is officially suspected of murder. The investigation is led by the police department dealing with terrorism. It is up to the investigators to determine whether or not a terrorist incident is involved, the chief of police in Essex said.
The flags at parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnsons office residence and other government buildings on Downing Street hang half-stick. The murder has left people deeply shocked and saddened, Johnson said. “We lost a beloved friend and colleague. David was a man who believed in his country and its future. We lost a good servant of the public cause.” The Prime Minister named his party mate one of the nicest people in politics.
British politicians responded to the incident in shock. “Heartbroken that we lost Sir David Amess MP,” Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab tweeted. Amess, according to him, was a “formidable big-heart campaigner. Rest my friend softly.” Other members of the cabinet have also reacted with horror.
“This is an incident that will cause shockwaves through the parliamentary community and across the country,” said House Chairman Lindsay Hoyle. “Over the next few days, we will have to discuss and examine the safety of parliamentarians, including measures to be taken.” Labour leader Keir Starmer called the stabbing shocking and horrible. “My mind goes out to David, his family and associates.”
The Daily Mail notes that Sir David Amess spoke out against knife violence this year, which is taking off in the UK just like in the Netherlands. According to Amess, more preventive measures were needed.
Amess was a member of parliament since 1983, initially for the Basildon constituency and Southend West since 1997. He was knighted in 2015, was married to Lady Julia and had five adult children, four daughters and a son.
He belonged to the right wing of the Conservative Party, at least when it came to issues like Brexit. Amess was an early advocate of leaving the EU. After the successful Brexit referendum, Amess remained within the Leave means Leave group to disconnect the UK economy from that of the EU as much as possible.
Christian and Conservative
But Amess wasnt easy to push into a corner. For example, he was an declared opponent of foxhunting, a discussion that torn up the Conservative Party around the turn of the millennium.
However, Amess was one of the most conservatives when it came to LGBT issues. He was a declared opponent of same-sex marriage. Among other things, he collided with his daughter Katie, an actress, who played in the musical Miserable Lesbians, a parody of Les Miserables. As a Roman Catholic, Amess was a declared opponent of abortion.
Amess had set up an announcement of his performance in the church as a pinned tweet on Twitter, so visitors to his page would be immediately alerted to the event.