Sir David Amess who represented Southend West in Essex, was attacked on Friday afternoon at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea where he held his weekly open meeting hour. Police officers and paramedics tried to save him, but he died at the scene.
A 25-year-old man – understood to be a Briton with Somali heritage – walked into Sir David’s constituency consulting hour and stabbed him multiple times, with the MP said to have suffered more than a dozen wounds.
Sir David, a 69-year-old father-of-five, had been MP for Southend West since 1997 and first entered parliament in 1983. He never held a ministerial role during his long parliamentary career and instead focussed his efforts from the back benches of the House of Commons. Already during the 2017 election campaign he was once attacked.
This is the 10th time an MP has been killed or attacked since 1979. Only five years ago a far-right sympathiser shot and stabbed the Labour MP Jo Cox as she made her way to her constituency surgery in West Yorkshire a week before the EU referendum. Her murder was the first assassination of a British MP since the death of Conservative MP Ian Gow in 1990.
The facts leading to his death are yet to be established by the court but for too many elected representatives, death threats are seen as a grim but unavoidable part of the job.
Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday asked all police forces to immediately review security arrangements for MPs, while House of Commons Speaker Sir Linsday Hoyle has also pledged to “examine” safety measures.
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