David Amess stabbing – latest: Counter-terror police leading probe into ‘kind, committed’ Tory MP’s death

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Sir David, 69, was first elected as an MP in 1983 (UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Imag)
Sir David, 69, was first elected as an MP in 1983 (UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Imag)

Counter-terrorism officers are leading the murder investigation into the stabbing to death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Essex Police has said. They were keeping an open mind as to the alleged attacker’s motivations, according to chief constable Ben Julian Harrington.

The stabbing took place at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh at about midday. Essex Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested “immediately” after officers arrived, and a knife recovered.

Sir David, who was first elected to parliament in 1983, leaves a wife and five children. The 69-year-old was praised as “the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet” whose “every word and act were marked by kindness”, as tributes flooded in from parliamentary colleagues.

Read More

David Amess death: Tributes flood in for ‘hugely kind and good’ MP

Sir David Amess: Father of five, veteran MP and passionate champion of Southend

David Amess: Murder will spark renewed debate over security for MPs

Key points

  • Counter-terror police leading murder probe

  • Full story: David Amess dies after being stabbed in church hall

  • Murdered MP wrote in book that attacks ‘could happen to any of us’

  • Boris Johnson pays tribute to David Amess

  • Wave of tributes from fellow MPs

  • David Amess: A profile of one of Westminster’s longest-serving MPs

  • Stabbing expected to spark renewed debate over MPs’ security

David Amess stabbed at constituency surgery

13:59 , Jon Sharman

A Conservative MP has reportedly been stabbed multiple times in an incident at his constituency surgery, writes Holly Bancroft.

Sir David Amess, the MP for Southend West in Essex, was attacked on Friday, local media reported.

It is believed Mr Amess has been receiving treatment at the scene for his injuries.

David Amess: MP ‘stabbed multiple times’ at constituency surgery

Witness describes emergency services presence

14:00 , Jon Sharman

An employee of Jean’s Laundry, near Belfair’s Methodist Church in Eastwood Road where the attack took place, said she did not know anything about the situation but had seen several emergency service vehicles pass by.

“We just saw all the police and the ambulances turning up,” she told the PA news agency.

“I saw about two or three ambulances and then an undercover police car and other police cars going past.

“There’s usually people walking past, elderly people walking to the shops. We’ve still got no idea what’s going on, we’re not very busy on a Friday and no one has come in to talk to us about it.”

Essex Police statement

14:02 , Jon Sharman

Essex Police says a man has been arrested following the attack on David Amess.

Officers were called to reports of the stabbing at 12.05pm and arrested the man shortly after.

They say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the assault.

MPs send messages of support

14:10 , Jon Sharman

Messages of support for David Amess are already pouring in from his colleagues in the Commons.

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, tweeted: “Horrific and deeply shocking news. Thinking of David, his family and his staff.”

His deputy Angela Rayner added: “On behalf of all of us in the Labour Party I want to say all of our thoughts are with David and we all hope that he pulls through and is ok.”

And Iain Duncan Smith, the former cabinet minister, said: “My thoughts are with David Amess MP and his family at this awful time. Praying for a full recovery following this appalling, shocking news. This angry, violent behaviour cannot be tolerated in politics or any other walk of life.”

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “Sending my thoughts and prayers to David Amess, his family and friends. Such shocking and terrible news.”

Another Conservative MP, Chris Skidmore, tweeted: “Praying for David to pull through. He is one of the loveliest, most optimistic people I’ve met. Sickening news.”

Grim echoes of past attacks on MPs

14:20 , Jon Sharman

The attack on Sir David Amess has dark echoes of previous attacks on MPs.

Jo Cox, the Yorkshire Labour MP, was killed by a terrorist in 2016. The foundation created in her memory sent a message in support of Sir David on Friday, saying: “The Jo Cox Foundation is horrified to hear the news of the attack on Sir David Amess MP. We are thinking of him, his family and loved ones at this distressing time.”

And Stephen Timms, who was the target of a murder attempt during a constituency surgery of his own 11 years ago, also weighed in.

He tweeted: “Appalled to hear of the attack on @amessd_southend today. I know him well and am thinking of him with very best wishes as we await further news.”

Amess being treated inside church building, witness says

14:26 , Jon Sharman

Paramedics are treating Sir David Amess inside the church building where he was attacked, according to a witness.

The man, who called in to LBC radio, said the building had been “swamped” by emergency services vehicles and armed police officers, and that he had seen an air ambulance hovering overhead.

He told the broadcaster: “I saw someone getting taken out of the building and put into police car … In five minutes we got informed by someone in the building that apparently [Sir David] was stabbed quite a few times, and they’re trying to fight for his life as we speak.

“There’s been no patient taken away from the building, as we speak. He’s still in there, from what I can see.”

Iain Duncan Smith ‘very worried’ for David Amess but ‘won’t be cowed’ by risks of meeting public

14:31 , Jon Sharman

Iain Duncan Smith, the former cabinet minister, has said he is “very worried” for his colleague David Amess.

He told BBC News: “All I can think of is prayers for him and his family – him for a safe recovery and them for the most terrible emotions they must be going through.”

The ex-Conservative Party leader added: “The reality for us is that we see constituents all the time, both in their houses and in surgeries, we’re out and about, we’re always available. We must be available, it’s the most critical bit of what makes the British parliamentary system, I think, one of the most accessible in the world.

“That’s because we want it that way. We don’t want to be cowed or frightened into doing something different, and I certainly won’t and I know my colleagues feel the same.”

Images from scene of attack

14:34 , Jon Sharman

Images are beginning to emerge from the scene of the attack on Sir David Amess.

 (Sky News)
(Sky News)
 (Lee Jay/Twitter)
(Lee Jay/Twitter)

More from Leigh

14:41 , Jon Sharman

Emergency services at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea (PA)
Emergency services at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea (PA)

Air ambulance waiting near scene

14:46 , Jon Sharman

Sir David Amess is still at the church where he was stabbed, the BBC cited a local councillor as saying.

Live footage showed an air ambulance hovering nearby.

David Amess: A profile of one of Westminster’s longest-serving MPs

14:50 , Jon Sharman

Sir David Amess is one of Westminster’s longest-serving MPs and known as a passionate campaigner for his Southend West constituency, writes Andrew Woodcock.

Today’s attack is a chilling reminder of the vulnerability of MPs who meet members of the public at constituency surgeries, usually on Fridays when they are free of parliamentary duties.

It comes after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox as she left a surgery in her West Yorkshire constituency in 2016, the stabbing of East Ham MP Stephen Timms as he spoke to constituents in 2010 and a samurai sword attack on Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones, which killed an aide.

Stabbing victim is one of Westminster’s longest serving MPs

Eyewitness describes 'distressing' scenes after stabbing of MP David Amess

15:01 , Jon Sharman

Brendan Cox condemns ‘attack on democracy'

15:05 , Jon Sharman

Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, has commented on the attack on Sir David Amess.

He wrote on Twitter: “Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets.”

Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed

15:06 , Jon Sharman

Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in Leigh, Essex.

Essex Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh on Sea.

“We were called to Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm.

“Sadly, a man later died.

“A man was arrested at the scene.

“We are not looking for anyone else.”

You can read our full report below:

Sir David Amess MP dies after being stabbed at constituency surgery

Tributes begin to come in for Sir David

15:24 , Jon Sharman

Sir David Amess, who has died aged 69 after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in Essex, has been hailed as a “true parliamentarian” by colleagues.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said of the Southend West MP: “A dedicated, thoughtful man and a true parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

And Sajid Javid, the health secretary, tweeted: “Devastated to learn of Sir David Amess' murder. A great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role. My heart goes out to Julia, his family, and all who loved him. Let us remember him and what he did with his life.”

Michael Gove added: “David Amess’s passing is heart-breakingly sad. Just terrible, terrible news. He was a good and gentle man, he showed charity and compassion to all, his every word and act were marked by kindness. My heart goes out to his family.”

Read more: Tributes flood in for ‘hugely kind and good’ MP

15:34 , Jon Sharman

Tributes have flooded in for the Conservative Party MP Sir David Amess after he was stabbed to death at a surgery meeting in his Essex constituency, writes Adam Forrest.

Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie said the shocking news of Sir David’s death in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday was “absolutely devastating”.

Ms Johnson added: “He was hugely kind and good. An enormous animal lover and a true gent. This is so completely unjust. Thoughts are with his wife and their children.”

Tributes flood in after death of ‘hugely kind and good’ MP David Amess

Ex-PM Cameron says murder ‘devastating'

15:41 , Jon Sharman

David Cameron, the former PM, has called Sir David Amess’ murder “devastating”.

Mr Cameron tweeted: “This is the most devastating, horrific & tragic news. David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man - & he was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet. Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today. Right now, my heart goes out to David’s family.”

Calls for security review after stabbing

15:49 , Jon Sharman

Security arrangements for MPs should be reviewed in the wake of David Amess’ murder at a constituency surgery event, according to an ex-parliamentarian.

Harvey Proctor, Sir David’s predecessor as Basildon representative, also paid tribute to the slain MP.

He told the PA news agency: "The news that my friend David Amess has been attacked and died in his constituency is horrible.

"David took over my Basildon constituency in 1983. My thoughts and best wishes go to his wife Julia and their children and his family.

"He supported me in good times and in bad. He was a wonderful member of parliament for Basildon and Southend-on-Sea West.

"It's now time to consider again the security of MPs, especially when they are present at fixed events and times such as constituency surgeries.

"Our parliamentary democracy is under threat and parliament must respond."

Sir David had advertised the surgery, which is a regular opportunity for constituents to air their views and seek assistance, on his Twitter page on Tuesday, giving the location and contact details to book an appointment.

In another tribute statement, the former MP Denis Macshane reflected: “Five years ago Jo Cox. Now this. Rise of hate in politics in 21st century is so worrying.”

Flags lowered in Westminster

15:58 , Jon Sharman

Flags have been lowered to half mast outside parliament following the death of Southend MP Sir David Amess.

David Amess wrote about security concerns following Jo Cox’s murder

16:01 , Jon Sharman

David Amess wrote in his book Ayes & Ears: A Survivor's Guide to Westminster about how MPs had responded to the murder of Jo Cox.

Sir David particularly addressed the subject of constituency surgeries, referencing in particular the attack on Nigel Jones in 2000 by a sword-wielding assailant, in which one of the MP’s aides was killed. “It could happen to any of us,” Sir David observed.

After going on to discuss the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, he wrote: “There can be no doubt that as a result of these heightened security concerns most members have modified or changed the way they interact with the general public.

“The Commons authorities have taken threats very seriously and have issued guidance for the safety and security of not only members, but their families. This includes security in their own home.

“I myself have over the years experienced nuisance from the odd member of the general public at my own property. We regularly check our locks and many others have CCTV cameras installed, but probably the most significant change has been with constituency surgeries.

“The British tradition has always been that members of parliament regularly make themselves available for constituents to meet them face-to-face at their surgeries. Now advice has been given to be more careful when accepting appointments.

“We are advised never to see people alone, we must be extra careful when opening post and we must ensure that our offices are properly safe and secure.

“In short, these increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians.”

Sir David went on to lament the abuse MPs suffered on social media from unaccountable and unnamed trolls.

Commons speaker also raises security concerns

16:15 , Jon Sharman

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, has issued a statement following Sir David Amess’ killing.

He said: “I am shocked and deeply distressed by the killing of Sir David Amess.

“David was a lovely man, devoted to his family, to parliament and his Southend West constituency. He was well-liked by members and the staff alike, and during his almost four decades here built a reputation for kindness and generosity.

“This is an incident that will send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country.

“In the coming days we will need to discuss and examine MPs’ security and any measures to be taken, but for now, our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Local councillor pays tribute to David Amess’ ‘accessibility’ - but notes the vulnerability that brought

16:29 , Jon Sharman

David Garston, a local Conservative councillor, said Sir David Amess was an "irreplaceable" constituency MP whose approachability left him "vulnerable".

"He was probably one of the best constituency MPs in the country, and because he was so accessible and because he was everywhere, he obviously left himself vulnerable and didn't think twice about it," Mr Garston told the PA news agency.

The councillor said that when Sir David came to his ward, "you couldn't get very far because he'd stop every hundred yards to talk to somebody".

He said: "It was always very slow with Sir David but he's paid the price for being so easily got at unfortunately and I just think it's dreadful.

"The community have lost a really good MP who cared deeply for them and he'll be a very, very hard act to follow. To find an MP like Sir David, who didn't think about ministerial position - he wasn't interested, he was a community man - I would say he's irreplaceable."

PA

Images from scene of killing

16:35 , Jon Sharman

More images have emerged from the location where David Amess was killed.

A police forensics officer works at the scene (AFP via Getty Images)
A police forensics officer works at the scene (AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (PA)
Police officers outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (PA)

‘Parliamentarians should be able to work without fear'

16:46 , Jon Sharman

Lord McFall, the speaker in the House of Lords, paid tribute to David Amess in a statement posted to Twitter.

He said: "What has happened today is an utter tragedy.

"Sir David Amess MP was an exemplary public servant and lovely person. I have known him and worked alongside him in the House of Commons since 1987.

"I always admired him for his deep commitment to his constituents, to international affairs, to parliament and to the common good.

"Parliamentarians should be able to represent their constituents without fear.''

Killing of David Amess ‘a tragic day for democracy'

16:52 , Jon Sharman

Theresa May, the former PM, has paid tribute to David Amess.

Ms May tweeted: “Heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess. A decent man and respected parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties. A tragic day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family.”

David Amess’ death will cause renewed debate over security for MPs

17:01 , Jon Sharman

The killing of Sir David Amess at a constituency surgery will renew questions over security arrangements for MPs, writes Andrew Woodcock.

Following the murder of Labour’s Jo Cox in 2016, security was stepped up, with all MPs offered panic buttons, extra lighting and additional locks at their homes and offices, as well as emergency alarm fobs to carry with them.

And Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle today said that “in the coming days we will need to discuss and examine MPs’ security and any measures to be taken” in the wake of Amess’s death.

David Amess murder will spark renewed debate over security for MPs

Essex Police appeal for information from public

17:12 , Jon Sharman

Essex Police detectives have asked members of the public to contact them with any information or footage from around the time of the stabbing death of Sir David Amess.

In a statement, the force said: “We are continuing to appeal for anyone who saw anything or has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to come forward.

“We want to say thank you to the members of the public who alerted so quickly.

“If you have any information you can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'live chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm.

“Please quote incident 445 of 15 October.

“You can also call us on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Boris Johnson pays tribute to David Amess

17:20 , Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson has paid fulsome tribute to Sir David Amess following the MP’s death in a stabbing today.

The prime minister said: “All our hearts are full of shock and sadness today to the loss of Sir David Amess MP, who was killed in his constituency surgery, in a church, after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom.

“I think the reason people are so shocked and saddened is above all he was one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics.

“He also had an outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable, whether they were people who were suffering from endometriosis, passing laws to end cruelty to animals, or doing a huge amount to reduce the fuel poverty suffered by people up and down the country.

“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future. We’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague, and our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children and his family.”

Mr Johnson said he believed “everyone was deeply shocked and heart-stricken” by Sir David’s death.

At the same time, Priti Patel, the home secretary, made a statement on Twitter. She wrote: “I am devastated we have lost Sir David Amess. David was not only a fellow Essex MP, but a kind and loyal friend.”

Boris Johnson pays tribute to murdered Tory MP

David Amess ‘did much more than other MPs'

17:30 , Jon Sharman

A woman who lives near the church where David Amess was stabbed to death has praised the MP for his commitment to the constituency, writes Tom Batchelor.

Claire, a teacher, told The Independent: “ I was at work when I heard. We are a very close-knit neighbourhood, and I heard on a group chat that something had happened.

“I have always felt totally safe here, it is a really lovely area. And he was a really lovely MP. Really approachable. If you had any issues you could go to him.

“I’m just really shocked. He was so involved in the community, he did much more than many other MPs. He always sent a birthday card to local children on their 18th birthday.”

A second nearby resident, Andy, added: “It is such a safe area, that’s why we moved here, because children can just play out on the street. [Sir David] was always so friendly. We shared a laugh together even though we are poles apart politically.”

Murdered MP wrote in book that attacks ‘could happen to any of us’

17:44 , Jon Sharman

Sir David Amess had written about how attacks on MPs could “happen to any of us” in a book published less than a year before his death.

In Ayes & Ears: A Survivor's Guide to Westminster, which was released in December, the Conservative politician reflected on his time as one of parliament’s longest-serving MPs.

He recalled hearing of the murder of Jo Cox, who was assassinated by a neo-Nazi outside her constituency surgery in 2016, and told how he was escorted out of parliament during the 2017 Westminster attack.

Murdered MP David Amess wrote in book that attacks ‘could happen to any of us’

Murdered MP ‘had time for everyone’, says constituent at vigil

17:52 , Jon Sharman

A vigil is being held at St Peter’s Catholic Church in Sir David Amess’ constituency, writes Tom Batchelor.

Leonor Burden, one of his constituents, attended and told The Independent: “Sir David Amess was absolutely wonderful. He is going to be very much missed. He had time for everyone over the years. We shared several interests. Constituents were his main priority.”

Another vigil attendee, Belfairs ward councillor Alan Dear, added: “I have no words to describe it, I am in total shock. He was an absolutely wonderful man. He dedicated himself to the community, and he supported me a great deal. He was a good friend. He did a lot for the community.”

Starmer issues new statement on ‘dark and shocking day'

17:59 , Jon Sharman

Keir Starmer has called on the UK to show violence and intimidation will not suppress democracy in a new statement following the stabbing death of Sir David Amess.

The Labour leader called it a “dark and shocking day”.

Sir Keir said: “My heart goes out to David’s wife and children, his staff, friends and constituents. This is a dark and shocking day. The whole country will feel it acutely, perhaps the more so because we have, heartbreakingly, been here before.

“Above all else, today I am thinking of David, of the dedicated public servant that he was and of the depth of positive impact he had for the people he represented. Informed by his faith, David had a profound sense of duty, that I witnessed first-hand in parliament.

“His Catholicism was central to his political life and he was highly respected across parliament, within the church and in the Christian community.

“Let us come together in response to these horrendous events. We will show once more that violence, intimidation and threats to our democracy will never prevail over the tireless commitment of public servants simply doing their jobs.”

Police press conference to start shortly

18:13 , Jon Sharman

Essex Police is to hold a press conference imminently, addressing the stabbing death of David Amess.

Unknown delay to press conference

18:26 , Jon Sharman

We’re still expecting the police statements shortly. It’s not clear what the delay is.

Labour MP’s partner asks her to step down in fear over safety

18:28 , Lamiat Sabin

The sister of an MP who was murdered by a neo-nazi constituent revealed that her partner has asked her to step down following the killing of Tory MP Sir David Amess today.

Jo Cox, who was murdered by a neo-nazi at her constituency office in 2016, revealed that her partner has asked her to step down as MP after Sir David Amess was killed today.

Kim Leadbeater is the sister of Jo Cox, who was Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, the constituency she now represents.

She said she felt “frightened” following the attack on Sir David at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Ms Leadbeater said: “Totally shocked by what has happened to think that something so horrific could happen again to another MP, to another family. And scared and frightened – a real rollercoaster of emotions.

“My phone started going straight away, my mum and dad, my partner, my friends, ‘Are you OK?’ and I was OK, I was visiting a school.

“But the shock and the feelings for us as a family, obviously what we went through and another family are going through that again, it’s horrific.”

She added: “My partner came home and said ‘I don’t want you to do it any more’ because the next time that phone goes, it could be a different conversation.”

Statement from Essex Police: Counter-terror officers leading investigation

18:32 , Jon Sharman

Counter-terror officers are leading the investigation into Sir David Amess’ death, Ben Julian Harrington, chief constable of Essex Police, has said.

He said it was not yet certain whether the killing was an act of terror. Detectives are keeping an open mind, he told a press conference.

However, The Independent understands that the suspect is of Somali origin, and the murder is being treated at this point as a probable Islamist terror attack.

A 25-year-old man was arrested “immediately” after police arrived at the church where Sir David was stabbed, Mr Harrington added.

At the same press conference, the area’s police commissioner called Sir David’s killing a “despicable” act.

Lizzie Dearden and Kim Sengupta have the story.

Counter-terror police take over investigation into murder of MP Sir David Amess

Amess ‘stalwart of Parliament and a great man,’ Speaker says

19:15 , Lamiat Sabin

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said it has been an “awful day for democracy” but that “democracy must survive”.

Speaking from his constituency Chorley in Lancashire, Sir Lindsay said that he went ahead with his constituency surgery that day after the death of a Tory MP.

He appeared emotionally moved when describing Sir David Amess as a “stalwart of Parliament and a great man” who “stood up for animals and the people of Southend.”

He said that MPs will be making tributes to Sir David – who was stabbed to death at a constituency surgery in Southend – in the chamber on Monday.

Sir Lindsay also told Sky News: “I’m in shock, and MPs are in shock across all political parties. We are united in our thoughts for David, his family, and everyone who knew him.”

The Labour MP added that it is an “awful day for democracy” but that “nothing” will stop MPs from “carrying out their duty”.

Home Office asks police to review MPs’ security arrangements

19:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”.

A Home Office spokesman said: “This afternoon, the Home Secretary chaired a meeting of the Police, Security and Intelligence Agencies to discuss the tragic incident in Southend and the ongoing response. She also spoken to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

“The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course.”

People with info about stabbing urged to talk to police

19:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Essex police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst urged anyone with information about the killing of Sir David Amess to contact the police.

“This is a shocking and utterly despicable attack against somebody who was an outstanding MP and has worked tirelessly for their community for many, many years,” he said in a statement outside Southend police station.

She added: “For anybody who has information, please do not hesitate to contact the police.”

Constituent remembers Sir David Amess as ‘a big community man'

20:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Sir David Amess’s constituents are remembering him for his charity work, saying that he was a community-focused man who would “always turn up”.

Helen Symmons is the town clerk for Leigh-On-Sea. She told the PA news agency: “David was a big community man and everybody here recognised that. Everyone’s in a state of shock and disbelief.”

She recalled Sir David’s annual attendance at the town’s Christmas parade, saying: “We always invited David, he always came along and we always found him a float to sit in and wave from.

“I think the worst thing that I made him do was probably sit… with a mascot dressed as a bear.”

Ms Symmons said Sir David “never complained”, adding: “Even if his diary was completely chock-a-block… he always turned up.

“I remember when we had the royal wedding in 2012, there were so many street parties around here, and he literally attended every one – every single street party.”

Ms Symmons said Sir David also organised an annual party for centenarians, and was “massively involved” with the Royal British Legion.

He was also patron and president of the Music Man Project Charity, an international music education service for people with disabilities.

Flowers laid outside scene of stabbing

20:30 , Lamiat Sabin

People have laid flowers near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died.

He was stabbed a number of times at a constituency surgery that was being held at the church.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested, and police are considering whether the motive is linked to terrorism.

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

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ‘shocked and saddened’ by killing

20:45 , Lamiat Sabin

‘Mr Southend died doing the thing he loved’

20:55 , Liam James

Constituents have paid tribute to Sir David – an Essex MP for nearly 40 years – at a vigil in his constituency.

Tom Batchelor reports:

Constituents pay tribute to murdered MP who ‘died doing the thing he loved’

Downing Street lowers union jack to half mast in tribute to David Amess

21:02 , Liam James

Downing Street said it was a mark of respect for the murdered MP (Getty)
Downing Street said it was a mark of respect for the murdered MP (Getty)

More forensic officers at stabbing site

21:12 , Liam James

More forensic officers have arrived to the scene of Sir David’s stabbing, according to the PA News Agency.

A cordon was put in place around the scene at the Leigh-on-Sea church after the attack. Essex Police are staffing the cordon while forensic officers investigate.

Jacob Rees Mogg pays tribute to Sir David Amess

21:26 , Liam James

The Leader of the House of Commons has paid his respects to Sir David Amess, a fellow catholic:

Sir David was ‘old school’ MP, says local priest

21:42 , Liam James

Father Jeffrey Woolnough led a church service in memory of Sir David at St Peter’s, near to where he died.

The priest said Sir David was an “old school” MP who loved meeting his constituents and talking to local people.

He told a story about the first time he met Sir David in around 2006: “I was asked to give a sermon at Southend High School for boys. Beforehand there was coffee in the headmaster's study and I was chatting to this man - I had no idea who he was - and someone came up and said, 'Do you know who you're speaking to? It's David Amess' - and?

“When you can speak to your MP and you can talk and get on like a house on fire, that's when you can talk to them later about things that are important to your area.

“What happened to Sir David today, what can we say? But he died doing the thing he loved, meeting his constituents, his local people. He was old school in that respect but still knew how to enjoy probably the most boring things. His great gift, great courage comes from his upbringing.”

Around 80 people were thought to be in attendance.

Kim Leadbeater’s partner asked her to stand down after David Amess killing

21:57 , Liam James

Kim Leadbeater, MP for the West Yorkshire seat once held by her murdered sister Jo Cox, said her partner asked her to stand down after hearing of the killing of Sir David Amess.

The Labour MP for Batley and Spen said she felt “frightened” following the attack. She said her family and friends were in contact right away to check she was safe.

“My phone started going straight away, my mum and dad, my partner, my friends, ‘Are you OK?’ and I was OK, I was visiting a school.

“But the shock and the feelings for us as a family, obviously what we went through and another family are going through that again, it’s horrific.

“It’s hard to put into words how that feels for me.”

She added: “My partner came home and said ‘I don’t want you to do it any more’ because the next time that phone goes, it could be a different conversation.

What we know so far:

22:15 , Lamiat Sabin

Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died aged 69 after he was stabbed multiple times when meeting constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Here is what we know so far:

  • The Southend West MP was killed at Belfairs Methodist Church at midday, where he was holding a constituency surgery

  • He had been receiving emergency medical attention at the scene, but he sadly died

  • Essex Police said officers had arrived at the scene within minutes

  • A 25-year-old man was arrested immediately at the scene on suspicion of murder and remains in custody

  • It is believed that the suspect ran into the church and repeatedly stabbed Sir David

  • Essex Police said the investigation is being led by counter-terror officers who will “keep open mind” over terrorism as a motive

  • Forensic officers have been inspecting the scene

  • Police said a knife was recovered from the scene

  • Detectives are not looking for any other suspects

  • Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said there will need to be a discussion soon on MPs’ security

  • Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked police forces to review MPs’ security arrangements “with immediate effect”

MP had walked daughter down aisle just two months ago

22:35 , Lamiat Sabin

Sir David Amess was killed just weeks after walking one of his five children down the aisle.

The MP had seen his daughter Alex get married in August, the Daily Mail reports.

23:02 , Lamiat Sabin

That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more updates. Thank you for following.

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