The Conservative MP David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times in his constituency in Essex.
The 69-year-old was attacked at around midday on Friday 15 October at a constituency surgery in Southend West. The incident occurred around at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
Essex Police have confirmed that a man was arrested shortly after the stabbing was reported to authorities. The police are not looking for any other suspects.
In a statement shared on Facebook, the police thanked the public “who alerted us to the incident so quickly.”
Mr Amess received treatment at the scene for his injuries with an air ambulance said to have been waiting nearby. An update shared by Essex Police just before 3 pm confirmed that a man had died on the scene.
Amess was first elected to parliament in 1983 as the MP for Basildon before being elected in Southend West in 1997. He received a knighthood in 2015 for his political and public service. He was one of the oldest serving members of parliament and had served nearly four decades as an MP. He was a father of five.
Numerous tributes have been paid to Amess following his tragic death, all speaking of what a noble, decent and approachable figure he was in parliament, with flags currently being flown at half mast.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak tweeted “the worst aspect of violence is its inhumanity” and that “today it took a father, a husband, and a respected colleague.“
The prime minister’s wife Carrie Johnson said it was “absolutely devastating news” and paid tribute to Amess as an “enormous animal lover and a true gent.”
The secretary of state for housing and communities, Michael Gove said it was “heart-breakingly sad” and that Amess was a “good and gentle man, he showed charity and compassion to all.”
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the news was “truly awful” and added that his “thoughts and prayers are with David Amess MP, his family, staff and the community at this incredibly difficult time.”
The health secretary Sajid Javid said Amess was “a great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role.”
Foreign secretary Liz Truss said that she was “devastated” and that Amess was a “lovely, lovely man and a superb parliamentarian.”
The speaker of the house Lindsay Hoyle said he was “shocked and deeply distressed” by Amess’s death who he said was a “lovely man” and had built a reputation for kindness and generosity.”
Many more of Amess’s colleagues in the House of Commons, from the Tory party and opposition parties, sent their thoughts and prayers in reaction to the MP’s death.
Labour MP, Stephen Timms who was also stabbed at a constituency surgery in 2010 said he was appalled by what had happened.
The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in memory of the Labour MP who was murdered by a terrorist in 2016, said they were “devastated” by the news and that “all elected representatives deserve to be safe and treated with respect.” Jo’s husband, Brendan Cox, said the incident “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.”
It has also been noted that Amess wrote a book last year where he said that the murder of Jo Cox “spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting.”
The former prime minister David Cameron said that Amess was “a kind & thoroughly decent man – & he was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet.” Meanwhile, Theresa May said this was a “tragic day for our democracy.”
The Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said Amess’s death was “awful beyond words” adding: “In a democracy, politicians must be accessible and open to scrutiny, but no-one deserves to have their life taken while working for and representing their constituents.”
Southend United, the football club closest to Amess’s constituency sent their thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences.
Other notable figures from the media landscape have also paid tributes to Amess.
Police are now appealing for any information that the public might have about the incident submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button on their website to speak to an online operator between 7 am-11 pm. The public has been advised to quote incident 445 of 15 October.
Anyone with information can also phone 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.