Sir David Amess murder: US Capitol riot shows what happens when you 'whip up a mob', Speaker warns after MP's murder

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  • Lindsay Hoyle
    British politician (born 1957)

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has warned the US Capitol riots show what happens when you "whip up a mob" as he called for more respect after the murder of Sir David Amess.

The speaker said everybody needs to "think about the language we use" otherwise a situation like what happened in Washington DC could take place.

On 6 January this year, Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, putting 15 police officers in hospital and causing millions of dollars worth of damage.

Mr Trump was accused of encouraging rioters to march to the Capitol after falsely claiming Joe Biden's victory over him in the election was "stolen".

Following Conservative MP Sir David's murder in his Essex constituency on Friday, MPs have been reflecting on the abuse they receive and the current tone of political debate.

Asked about derogatory language used by Boris Johnson before he became prime minister and Labour MP Angela Rayner's recent "Tory scum" comments, Sir Lindsay told Sky News' Kay Burley: "That type of language has no place, I think it's very disrespectful, it wouldn't be allowed in the chamber.

"We've got to think about the language we use, think about the motives.

"We saw what happened with Capitol Hill when you whip up a mob."

He said social media has "also got a role to play" in making politics less abusive but said we should "start with politicians".

"Let's have nicer language - that's important," he added.

"I want to chair a chamber that has political differences, what I don't want is the hate and the nastiness.

"When I got elected I wanted nicer politics, let's have more honesty in politics as well, let's start going forward.

"Let's have a new beginning today - today is a starting point where we can change the face of politics."

Sir Lindsay said Sir David was "such a nice guy... who lit a room up" and said he was just as passionate about helping people now as he was the day he became an MP 38 years ago.

The Speaker knew Sir David well and said he was in shock when he was told about his death on Friday.

A 25-year-old man, who Sky News understands is Ali Harbi Ali, was arrested at the scene on murder and terrorism charges.

Sky News understands he is the son of a former senior Somali government official.

A spokesman at the Somali Embassy in China has also confirmed the terror suspect is the nephew of Somalia's ambassador to China, Awale Kullane.

MPs will today say prayers for Sir David before a minute's silence is held and tributes to him are paid in the House of Commons.

His wife and five children were seen on Monday morning visiting the church where Sir David was killed, which now has dozens of flowers and messages of condolence outside.

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