A British Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), Sir David Amess, was stabbed and killed while conducting a “constituency surgery,” what Americans might call a “town hall” or “meet and greet” at Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
The BBC is reporting, during the meeting, a 25-year-old man allegedly walked in and stabbed MP Amess. Police arrived quickly, arrested the man, and recovered a knife from the crime scene. Police say they are not looking for other suspects. Medics’ efforts to save Amess were unsuccessful, and the MP died at the scene.
The 69-year-old Amess has been in Parliament since 1983. The husband, and father of five children, was universally described as a “gentleman” and a stalwart “against abortion and on animal welfare issues.”
Father Jeff Woolnough said, “Sir David was a great, great man, a good Catholic, and a friend to all…” He added, “He’s died serving the people.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “a great man, a great friend, and a great MP, killed while fulfilling his democratic role.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “Today, it (the murder) took a father, a husband, and a respected colleague. All my thoughts and prayers are with Sir David’s loved ones.”
BBC political correspondent Helen Catt wrote, “Political differences have been set aside; MPs are united in expressing their shock, sadness, and affection for a colleague and a friend.”
“Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said, ‘This is an incident that will send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country.’”
The BBC also reported that MPs have excellent security while in Parliament provided by the elite Parliamentary Diplomatic Protection. However, “For most MPs, there is not the same close protection when they are in their constituencies.”
Sky News reported the suspect stabbed Amess multiple times. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “his heart is filled with ‘shock’ and ‘sadness’ tonight as he reacted to the death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess.”
The Sun recalled, in 2016, Labour MP Jo Cox was also murdered at this location. She was about to hold a constituency surgery when an assassin shot and killed her.
The Telegraph said, “Sir David Amess last year wrote about how the important British tradition of MPs meeting constituents had been changed forever by the murder of Jo Cox at her constituency surgery.”
There has been very little reporting on the suspect other than his age, gender, and type of weapon allegedly used. However, Sky News also reported, “Terrorism [is] not ruled out.” Essex Police are urging any witnesses or people with security camera video of the murder to come forward.
Flags will be flown as half-staff around Parliament.
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