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Conservative MP David Amess has died after he was stabbed multiple times at a church in his constituency.
Amess, the MP for Southend West, was holding a surgery with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday.
Just after 3pm Essex police issued a statement in which it confirmed that a man had died at the scene of the stabbing of the Conservative MP.
“A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea,” the force said.
“We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today [Friday 15 October].
“We attended and found a man injured.
“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.
“A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.
“He is currently in custody.
“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”
Tributes poured in for Amess, who was first elected to parliament in 1983, as the MP for Basildon, before becoming the MP for Southend West in 1997.
Brendan Cox, the husband of the late Jo Cox who was murdered in her Batley constituency in 2016, said: “This brings everything back.”
“My thoughts and love are with David’s family,” he tweeted.
“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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/hwRN0PODPK
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) October 15, 2021
Former Conservative prime minister David Cameron said: “This is the most devastating, horrific and tragic news.
“David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man – and 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.”
Amess, married with five children, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his public service in 2015.
He never served in a ministerial or shadow ministerial role, focussing his efforts on local constituency matters. He was popular with politicians and known for his active contributions to debates – often about issues relating to his Essex constituency or animal rights.
Carrie Johnson, the prime minister’s wife, tweeted: “Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess.
“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.”
His death is the latest attack on MPs in their constituencies.
The country was rocked when the 41-year-old Labour MP for Batley and Spen was shot and stabbed in her constituency by a far-right supporter on June 16, 2016.
In May 2010, East Ham MP Stephen Timms was stabbed twice in the abdomen by Roshonara Choudhry, an Islamic extremist who claimed she had wanted “to get revenge for the people of Iraq”.
Timms suffered serious injuries and according to police was “extremely fortunate not to have been killed”. He remains an MP.
Nigel Jones, then MP for Cheltenham, was severely injured in January 2000 when he was attacked in his offices by a man with a sword.
Andrew Pennington, a Gloucestershire county councillor, was killed in the same attack while trying to defend the then-MP.
He was posthumously awarded the George Medal for bravery.
The attacker, Robert Ashman, had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was deemed unfit to stand trial and was ordered to be detained indefinitely in a secure hospital.
As grim news of the attack emerged, prime minister Boris Johnson rushed back to London from a meeting in Bristol. Colleagues said Amess was a gentle man and cast him as a true gentleman.
Communities Secretary Michael Gove said Amess 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.”
Labour MP Darren Jones said he was “horrified and deeply saddened by the murder of Sir David Amess”.
“MPs may come from different parties but we’re all in Parliament to serve our constituents and our country together. This hurts all of us, as well as our democracy. RIP, Sir David.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.