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David Amess stabbing — latest: Family ‘can’t believe’ his murder as Priti Patel draws up protection plan for MPs

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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.

The Metropolitan Police said an early investigation into the killing, led by counter-terrorism officers, had revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.

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.

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.

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Another MP is killed doing their job. How can a democracy function if taking part means fearing for your life?

Key Points

  • Fatal stabbing of Tory MP declared terrorist incident

  • Police to contact every MP over security

  • Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer arrive in Leigh-on-Sea to pay tribute

22:01 , Peter Stubley

The name the police have for the suspect is Ali Harbi Ali, according to PA news agency and Sky News.

Police given more time to question suspect in MP murder

21:25 , Peter Stubley

Police have been given six more days to question the man suspected of murdering Sir David Amess MP in a terrorist attack.

The 25-year-old man is being detained for questioning at a London police station under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Police given six more days to question suspect in David Amess murder

Candlelight vigil for Sir David Amess MP

20:17 , Peter Stubley

Hundreds of people have attended a candlelit vigil in memory of MP Sir David Amess in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.

Southend councillor Alan Dear addressed the crowds carrying lanterns and candles gathered at Belfairs sports ground.

Mr Dear said it had been a “terrible 24 hours for all of us” and described Amess as “a good friend”.

“He spent 40 years of his life caring for the constituents of Basildon and Southend,” he added.

Hundreds of people turned out for the vigil near Belfairs Methodist Church (PA)
Hundreds of people turned out for the vigil near Belfairs Methodist Church (PA)

“He was a very kind, loving, gentle man. A gentleman and a gentle man. He’s a person I will never forget. He’s always been available.

“If you ever needed help he was there. I know he’s helped many of you here this evening.”

The crowd observed a minute’s silence, followed by a round of applause.

People light candles at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea (AP)
People light candles at a vigil in Leigh-on-Sea (AP)

Opposition parties ‘to stand aside in by-election'

19:52 , Peter Stubley

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have indicated they will not contest the by-election in Southend West following the death of David Amess.

A similar move was made by the major parties in Batley and Spen after Jo Cox was killed in a far-right terror attack in 2016.

Labour peer Lord Pendry, who said he was on friendly terms with Sir David, called on the major opposition parties to stand aside to “honour” the Conservative politician.

“I think we should be saying that whoever the Conservatives put up, it is their seat because they were deprived of it, so they should have it back,” he told PA news agency.

“I think all the major parties should stand aside in the interest of democracy and our own democratic way of life.”

Locals remember ‘an MP with a heart'

19:28 , Peter Stubley

Relatives of Sir David Amess expressed bewilderment and shock at his killing on Saturday as hundreds of well-wishers lit candles and left tributes at the scene of the attack in Southend, Essex.

Two cousins laid flowers outside the church where he was stabbed multiple times during a meeting with constituents.

‘We will always love you’: Family tribute to David Amess as locals mourn

Police protection plans being drawn up for MPs

19:01 , Peter Stubley

MPs are set to be offered beefed-up security in their constituencies in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess, which could include a regular police presence at weekly surgeries like the one at which he was stabbed to death on Friday.

Police forces contacted all 650 MPs over the day after Sir David’s death to offer reassurance and support, with some deploying officers to public events they were attending.

Patel drawing up police protection plan for MPs after David Amess murder

In pictures: Flowers, photos and messages left at scene

18:38 , Peter Stubley

Flowers are left at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (AFP via Getty Images)
Flowers are left at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (AFP via Getty Images)
Religious leaders from Southend mosques pay their respects (PA)
Religious leaders from Southend mosques pay their respects (PA)
 (PA)
(PA)
Flowers were also left at the Southend West Conservative Association, where the Union flag was flown half-mast. (AP)
Flowers were also left at the Southend West Conservative Association, where the Union flag was flown half-mast. (AP)

‘I think you’ve got to take the risk'

18:14 , Peter Stubley

Labour MP Karl Turner said he would continue to hold face-to-face meetings following the murder of David Amess.

“I think other MPs feel more vulnerable but I think we have got to carry it on,” the Hull East MP told PA news agency.

“We have to be vigilant ourselves, that’s the truth. I’ve got CCTV in almost every room in the constituency office - I’ve always had that, even before Jo (Cox).

“I think you can do as much as you can possibly do but if a knife-wielding maniac bursts into your room, what can you do about that really?

“I think you’ve got to take the risk. I’m not pretending to be any kind of a hero, far from it, but I think it is a pretty bad deal if you can’t see your MP.”

MP accessibility is ‘crowning glory of our system’

18:03 , Peter Stubley

Former justice secretary Robert Buckland said meeting constituents is “vital” for MPs.

He tweeted: “It’s vital that MPs feel able to be accessible to constituents. It is the crowning glory of our system. Glad and determined to be out and about in Swindon today with friends and fellow residents.”

‘I would prefer to meet constituents behind a screen’, says Abbott

17:48 , Peter Stubley

Labour MP Diane Abbott said she would prefer to constituents behind a screen to prevent an attack.

However she added that she was not in favour of having police at surgeries or airport-style security.

Ms Abbott told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “It’s very difficult. I’ve been talking to colleagues. There was one in north London who was telling me that because of death threats she had a police officer outside her advice session - and a police car, in fact.

“Well of course the number of people coming to see her dropped right down.

“You don’t want to have a set-up which is so off-putting to ordinary people that just want help. So I wouldn’t support airport-style screening.

“I would prefer going forward to meet constituents behind a screen, as we have now for Covid and so on - that might be quite complicated to arrange but at least you know someone’s not going to just lean over the desk and stab you, which could happen now.”

Southend FC pay tribute to David Amess

17:41 , Peter Stubley

Southend United football club paid its respects to local MP David Amess before its FA Cup qualifying match against Chertsey Town.

Both teams observed a minute’s silence before kick-off. The home team won 4-1 and are now through to the first round.

MPs will be ‘wary’ of what they do, says Bob Blackman

17:29 , Peter Stubley

Conservative MP Bob Blackman said MPs will “think twice” about holding drop-in surgeries for constituents following David Amess’s death.

He told the PA news agency: “I’ve had demonstrations that were outside my office from various different groups at different times, which is quite scary, particularly for staff.

“I think it’s like everything else, you’ve just got to be wary of what you do now, because, unfortunately, we don’t know what else is going to happen.”

The MP for Harrow East said he began having all his surgeries virtually or on the phone because he had to shield during the pandemic and has no plans to resume in-person surgeries any time soon.

“I think one of the issues is going to be we will be thinking twice about the types of surgeries David was holding, the drop-in surgeries,” he added.

Council of Somali Organisations condemns murder of Sir David Amess

17:14 , Peter Stubley

The Council of Somali Organisations has condemned the murder of Sir David Amess MP following reports the suspect is a British national of Somali origin.

Kahiye Alim, the director of CSO, said: “I send my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Sir David Amess MP. His life was one of service to others and we will remember his legacy is one of empowerment and community building. We utterly condemn this brutal murder, which is an affront to all of our values and our democratic society itself.”

‘We must not let people force us to do things differently'

16:57 , Peter Stubley

Conservative Kieran Mullan was among the MPs who met their constituents the day after the killing of Sir David Amess in Southend yesterday.

He tweeted: “We must not let people force us to do things differently. David would not have wanted that.”

Vigil for Sir David Amess in Southend

16:38 , Peter Stubley

Candles have been lit at a vigil for Sir David Amess in Southend.

Residents paid their respects to the MP at the Civic Centre. Some held blue balloons in memory of the Conservative politician while others held framed photographs.

Fellow Southend MP James Duddridge was among those attending.

Residents set up a display of candles at the vigil in Southend (REUTERS)
Residents set up a display of candles at the vigil in Southend (REUTERS)
Blue balloons at the vigil for MP David Amess (REUTERS)
Blue balloons at the vigil for MP David Amess (REUTERS)
Residents light candles at the vigil at Southend Civic Centre (REUTERS)
Residents light candles at the vigil at Southend Civic Centre (REUTERS)
Southend East MP James Duddridge was among those paying their respects (REUTERS)
Southend East MP James Duddridge was among those paying their respects (REUTERS)

Labour MP says she has already been contacted by Operation Bridger officers

16:30 , Chiara Giordano

Labour MP Naz Shah said she had been contacted by officers who are part of Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protective security operation, and they had been "amazing" towards her.

Earlier today, a National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman said every UK MP will be contacted in light of the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess.

The Bradford West MP declined to say what measures were being taken to protect her.

"For me, the more we talk about what measures we're taking, the more it raises our risk," she told PA.

"I think we've got to be very careful about what we put out there about which measures we're taking because that, by default, increases our risk."

Sir David Amess died just weeks after watching daughter get married

16:15 , Chiara Giordano

Sir David Amess is said to have died just four weeks after watching his daughter get married.

A photo shared on social media shows the Conservative MP and his wife Julia Arnold with their daughter on her wedding day, alongside their three other daughters who were bridesmaids. The couple also have a son.

Forensic officers pictured at scene of stabbing

16:00 , Chiara Giordano

Forensic officers have been seen at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Tory MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death on Friday.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

‘No right or wrong answer’ to whether surgeries should continue, says MP

15:47 , Chiara Giordano

Labour MP Naz Shah, who has previously been targeted with racist abuse, said there was "no right or wrong answer" over whether or not MPs should continue holding their surgeries.

Ms Shah, who represents the Bradford West constituency, told PA: "I think it's all about individuals, isn't it?

"I've had so many death threats, and it could have been any one of us. It's really close to home. I just think you've got to respect every MP. Some will have the 'Yes, we're going to carry on' view, and some people won't feel comfortable.

"At this time, I think there's no right or no wrong answer to whether we should do surgeries or not. How people feel is individual to them really, depending on their personal circumstances."

Southend mosques condemn killing of Sir David Amess as ‘indefensible atrocity’

15:22 , Chiara Giordano

The fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess has been condemned as an "indefensible atrocity" in a joint statement from all of Southend's mosques, as police said the attack may be linked to Islamist extremism.

Faith leaders said the father-of-five was an "upstanding friend to our Muslim community" and attended key events, including weddings, mosque openings and the launch of the town's first Muslim Scout group.

In a statement published on the Essex Jamme Masjid website, on behalf of "all Southend mosques", they said their thoughts and prayers were with Sir David's family, friends and colleagues.

"Sir David's murder was an indefensible atrocity, committed on the grounds of a place of worship and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms," the statement said.

"This act was committed in the name of blind hatred, and we look forward to the perpetrator being brought to justice."

MP who faced death threats says he continues to hold in-person constituency surgeries

15:17 , Chiara Giordano

Former minister Chris Skidmore said he has continued to hold face-to-face constituency surgeries despite someone previously being put behind bars for threatening to kill him.

The Conservative MP for Kingswood in South Gloucestershire said he holds two types of surgeries: one where verified constituents book to see him at his office and a second where he holds drop-in sessions, including at supermarkets where shoppers are invited to talk to their MP over the shop tannoy.

Mr Skidmore, a former universities minister, told the PA news agency: "I would still want to continue those.

"I've been an MP now for 11 years, I won the seat and have taken it up to an 11,000 majority by doing these type of visible, community-based appearances.

"I feel as a member of parliament who was born and grew up in my constituency, it feels absolutely natural that I would continue to hold in-person events.

"I've had someone in the past who has been in prison for threatening to kill me, so I recognise these threats, but it is a cornerstone of our British way of life when it comes to our democracy - very few countries have this."

Holyrood MSPs to get additional security after attack

15:09 , Chiara Giordano

Holyrood's Presiding Officer has described the killing of MP Sir David Amess as "an attack on our democracy" and assured MSPs the parliament will offer them additional security.

Alison Johnstone has written to MSPs in the wake of the "deeply devastating" stabbing of the Conservative MP as he met with constituents in an Essex church.

She pledged the Scottish Parliament would provide its elected members with any advice and support required and revealed she had spoken to Police Scotland, with the force indicating it would contact MSPs "as a matter of urgency" to discuss security arrangements.

It followed an announcement from the parliament's corporate body that it would fund any security upgrades at MSPs constituency offices based on police recommendations.

MPs hold constituency surgeries less than 24 hours after death of Sir David Amess

14:25 , Chiara Giordano

Alec Shelbrooke was among the MPs who held constituency surgeries as usual on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the death of Sir David Amess.

The Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell tweeted: "We cannot let events like this diminish the deep relationship between an MP and their constituents.

"This is a relationship I value deeply: I want my constituents, regardless of whether they voted for me or not, to be able to approach me in the street, in the pub, at the supermarket or at one of my surgeries."

Robert Largan, Conservative MP for High Peak, tweeted: "Thanks to everyone who came to my surgery this morning, especially those who just came to say hello & wish me well. It really does mean a lot. I'll keep on doing my weekly surgery, all year round, whatever the weather!

"We all need to stand up for our democracy!"

John Rentoul: David Amess’ death reminds us of the bravery of those who serve the people

14:01 , Andy Gregory

It takes courage to be a politician, even if the bravery often takes the form of not thinking about the risks, writes The Independent’s chief political commentator, John Rentoul.

Most of the MPs that I speak to say they don’t think about it much, except in the days after terrible events such as the death of Sir David Amess. In a few days’ time, they will think about it less, mainly because it isn’t possible to keep up a heightened sense of alarm for long.

We should think about it for them, however, because we owe them a debt of gratitude for taking on a role that makes democracy possible.

Read his thinking in full here:

Opinion: David Amess’ death reminds us of the bravery of those who serve the people

Ireland’s president offers condolences to Sir David Amess’ family

13:47 , Andy Gregory

The president of Ireland has extended condolences to the family of Sir David Amess.

Michael D Higgins said: “May I express my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, colleagues in Parliament and constituents of Sir David Amess, who was murdered while carrying out that most fundamental act of a politician, meeting with his constituents, assisting them with their issues.

"All of those who value representative politics will think also today of the family of the late Jo Cox, who was taken from her family in June 2016.

“I know that all those who serve the people of the United Kingdom will have been deeply affected by these two murders and on behalf of the Irish people, I send them our deepest sympathies.”

Jo Cox’s husband says death of Sir David Amess ‘brings everything back'

13:30 , Chiara Giordano

The husband of Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox, who died after being shot and stabbed outside a constituency surgery in 2016, has said Sir David Amess’ death “brings everything back”.

Brendan Cox wrote on Twitter: “My thoughts and love are with David’s family. They are all that matter now. This brings everything back.

“The pain, the loss, but also how much love the public gave us following the loss of Jo. I hope we can do the same for David now.”

He later added: “Terrorists want us to respond by amplifying their hatred, dividing communities & giving them the notoriety the crave. We can’t change what happened yesterday, but each of us can be part of stopping the terrorist achieving those aims.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle pays tribute to ‘kind and generous’ MP

13:15 , Chiara Giordano

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who visited the scene in Leigh-on-Sea alongside the prime minister, home secretary and leader of the opposition this morning, said his thoughts remained with the family of Sir David Amess ‘as they mourn the death of this kind and generous man’.

MPs must not be ‘cowed’ by threat of violence, says Priti Patel

13:00 , Chiara Giordano

Home secretary Priti Patel has said MPs must not be “cowed” by the threat of violence in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess.

Speaking after laying a wreath at the scene of Friday’s tragedy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, Ms Patel described Sir David as “a man of the people, killed doing a job that he loved, serving his constituents as an elected democratic member”.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the full story:

MPs must not be ‘cowed’ by threat of violence after Amess death, says Priti Patel

Southend councillor says he would not change the way he engages with residents

12:42 , Chiara Giordano

On the issue of politicians' safety in the wake of Sir David Amess's murder, Southend Conservative councillor John Lamb said he would not change the way he engages with residents.

He told the PA news agency: "It's part of the role that you as a councillor or as a member of Parliament are expected to meet with people and talk with them.

"You can't think too much about it, if you do you wouldn't do the job.

"If we start locking ourselves away we might as well give up being councillors or parliamentarians and why should these people, whether they be terrorists or whoever they might be, why should they disrupt our democracy?

"If they had their way, they would try and shut our democracy down because they can't stand democracy."

12:27 , Chiara Giordano

Every MP in the UK is being contacted by police today to discuss whether they should step up security measures in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess.

Officers will discuss equipment already available to MPs, like panic buttons in office and key fob-style emergency alarms, and security arrangements for public events in the coming days.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details:

Every MP offered security advice in wake of David Amess murder

Councillor rushed to scene after hearing MP had been stabbed

12:27 , Chiara Giordano

Southend borough councillor John Lamb said he dashed to the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea when he heard MP Sir David Amess had been "stabbed multiple times."

"David was there holding his surgery at that Methodist church and this person had gone there to join the surgery and when he got the chance and he went in to be seen by David, then he drew a knife and stabbed him," he told the PA news agency.

By the time the councillor arrived, police cordons were up and he could not get into the church.

He said: "We knew it must be very serious because the paramedics had been working on Sir David for over two and a half hours and they hadn't got him on the way to hospital. We knew it had to be extremely serious and that the worst scenario could occur - we were hoping it wouldn't but it did. That was when we heard that he had died."

The Conservative councillor said a worker from Sir David's office who was in the surgery during the attack was "not in touch at the moment because it's so distressing; she's getting counselling at the moment".

Essex Police vows to ‘work tirelessly’ to secure justice in tribute left at scene

11:53 , Chiara Giordano

The chief constable of Essex Police has delivered a message of condolence on behalf of the force as he laid flowers outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

The handwritten message read: “We promise your family, friends and colleagues that we will work tirelessly with our policing partners to secure justice for the terrible crime committed against you.

“Essex is united in respect for your public service.”

The chief constable of Essex Police lays flowers in tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Amess outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (Essex Police)
The chief constable of Essex Police lays flowers in tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Amess outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (Essex Police)
 (Essex Police)
(Essex Police)

Parishioners feel ‘violated’ over MP’s killing in Essex church

11:27 , Chiara Giordano

Rev Clifford Newman said he had been told by police it would be “at least three of four days” before he would be able to get back into Belfairs Methodist Church.

Speaking to Sky News, he said parishioners felt “violated” that such an act had taken place at the church.

“This is their second home in a lot of instances, they worship here, they’ve grown up in the area, and they’re just devastated,” he said.

“It’s going to take a long time for them to come to terms with how a place of sanctuary has been violated in such a manner.

“They feel saddened and devastated that this should happen to such a nice man.”

MP’s killing 'absolutely wrong and cannot get in the way of our functioning democracy’, says Priti Patel

11:15 , Chiara Giordano

Speaking to reporters in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, home secretary Priti Patel said Sir David Amess was "was killed doing a job that he loves, serving his own constituents as an elected democratic member and, of course, acts of this are absolutely wrong and we cannot let that get in the way of our functioning democracy.”

She added: "So that is why there are measures under way right now - I convened meetings yesterday, I've been with the Speaker of the House, and with the police and our security services to make sure that all measures are being put in place for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties as elected democratic members."

Locals pay tribute to Sir David Amess outside church where he was killed

11:05 , Chiara Giordano

A steady stream of people has been laying flowers near the police cordon outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, where MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death.

Local resident Samantha Macdonald, 44, tearfully recalled meeting Sir David when he came to her school when she was 12.

She told the PA news agency: "He was always so involved with the community, so accessible as well - prided himself on being accessible.

"He knew every head teacher's name of every school in his constituency. My 13-year-old daughter absolutely loved him."

‘We cannot be cowed’, says Priti Patel

10:45 , Chiara Giordano

Home secretary Priti Patel said a balance could be found between the democratic process and the security of MPs, adding that “we cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation...to stop us from functioning”.

She added: “Acts like this are obviously wrong and we cannot let that get in the way of our functioning democracy.”

Councillor says MP’s killing should lead to review of how politicians engage with residents

10:35 , Chiara Giordano

Southend councillor Alex Bright said the murder of MP Sir David Amess should lead to a review of how politicians engage with their residents.

He told the PA news agency: "It's difficult because to stop a lone attack like this is almost impossible, but I think there are going to have to be basic ways in which we change the way that we engage with our residents unfortunately.

"Security is at the forefront of our minds, much more than it ever has been, for everybody in any job or career."

The Conservative councillor laid flowers near the police cordon outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, where Sir David was stabbed to death.

Mr Bright said the MP, whom he had known since he was a teenager, had been a "permanent fixture in Southend, in Conservative politics and in the community".

Labour MP Harriet Harman to call on PM to back safety review

10:09 , Chiara Giordano

Veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman said she will be writing to the prime minister asking him to back a Speaker's Conference to review the safety of parliamentarians in their constituencies following the death of Sir David Amess.

Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme whether the issue of MP safety has worsened since her election in 1982, Ms Harman said: "Yes, it absolutely has.”

She added: "I don't think anybody wants to go to a situation where the police are vetting individual constituents who come and see us, but I'm sure there is a safer way to go about our business.

"That's why I'm proposing we have a Speaker's Conference, which is something that happens only once every 10 years or so where there is a major issue for parliament and our democracy, and the Speaker brings together the parties and the authorities and comes up with recommendations.

"Since Jo Cox's tragic killing, we've had changes in our home security, we've had changes in security in parliament, but we haven't looked at the issue of how we go about that important business in our constituency, but do it in a safe way - and I think we must do that now.

"We cannot have the death of an MP being a price worth paying for our democracy."

In pictures: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer lay flowers at church where MP was killed

09:49 , Chiara Giordano

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.

 (Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
 (Alberto Pezzali/AP)
(Alberto Pezzali/AP)

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel arrive in Leigh-on-Sea

09:11 , Chiara Giordano

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

08:44 , Chiara Giordano

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

08:41 , Chiara Giordano

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

08:20 , Chiara Giordano

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

08:09 , Chiara Giordano

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.

Read the full story here:

David Amess: Fatal stabbing of Tory MP declared as a terrorist incident by police

08:06 , Chiara Giordano

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.

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