Sir David Amess, 69, dies after being stabbed several times at Tory constituency surgery as man, 25, arrested for murder
TORY MP Sir David Amess has tragically died today after being stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery in Essex.
Armed cops swooped on the church in Leigh-on-Sea after the 69-year-old, who represents Southend West in Essex, was attacked just after midday.
Sir David was stabbed several times by a 25-year-old knifeman at Belfairs Methodist Church.
Paramedics frantically battled to save the stricken minister while horrified constituents watched as the suspect was led away from the bloodbath.
The tragedy comes as…
- Tributes have flooded in for Sir David from the political world
- The minister had called for action on knife crime just seven months ago
- Jo Cox's husband Brendan says the killing "brings everything back"
- A suspect remains in custody where he is being quizzed on suspicion of murder
Lee Jordison, 40, told how a woman had run out the church screaming "someone's been stabbed, please get here soon, he's not breathing" after the tragedy unfolded.
Sir David's condition was not immediately known but police have now confirmed the married dad-of-five was declared dead at the scene.
He is the ninth MP to be murdered in the UK and sixth since World War Two.
His death tragically comes just months after he begged Boris Johnson to tackle the knife crime epidemic plaguing Britain.
Essex Police confirmed a 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and said they are not looking for anyone else.
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."
Stunned MPs from all politic spectrums have condemned the horror.
Flags have also been lowered to half mast outside Parliament and a planned interview with Boris Johnson that was due to take place today has been cancelled.
The PM's wife Carrie was among the first to lead tributes to Sir David, saying: "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."
RIP Sir David
Sir David was one of the longest serving MPs in the House of Commons.
He was born in Essex in 1952 and has served the area for 38 years as an MP.
Sir David was a Tory MP since 1983, first for the seat of Basildon, and since 1997 for Southend West, where he has a majority of 14,459.
He was a backer of Brexit and supported leave in the referendum, saying it was "dangerous" and a "mistake" to Remain.
The lifelong backbencher never served in any top government positions but was well-versed in how to lobby ministers from the backbenches.
The MP long had a passion for animals and was patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation – along with the PM's wife Carrie. He also campaigned against fox-hunting.
Sir David was a Roman Catholic and opposed abortion laws and same sex marriage.
On foreign policy, he voted for the Iraq war, but later was very critical about the failure to find any WMDs.
Earlier this year, Sir David launched a new campaign for a permanent memorial to Dame Vera Lynn, along with her family.
MPs said he was a genuinely well-respected politician and liked by members all across the spectrum.
He is married with one son and four daughters.
Robert Halfon, Tory MP for Harlow and a friend of Sir David's, told The Sun: "He was the embodiment of Essex man.
"He was just the most wonderful and kindest and funny and compassionate politicians that we had the lucky to know in our lifetimes."
Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: "The worst aspect of violence is its inhumanity. It steals joy from the world and can take from us that which we love the most.
"Today it took a father, a husband, and a respected colleague. All my thoughts and prayers are with Sir David's loved ones."
Judith Cannon, deputy chair of the local conservative club and friend of Sir David told Sky: "I just don't believe it, how anyone could harm a kind man like David, I don't know.
"I cannot understand how anyone could be so wicked to harm this man.
"We love him dearly. Nobody is perfect but he is as near perfect as it's possible to be."
Councillor John Lamb described Sir David as as an "amicable" family man.
He said: "He's a family man, he's got four daughters and a son.
"He's always trying to help people and especially refugees he's tried to help. He's a very amicable person and he does stick by his guns, he says what he believes and he sticks by it."
History of violent attacks on MPs
Sir David is the latest MP to be killed while serving in office.
Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in June 2016 by right wing fanatic Thomas Mair as she was on her way to a constituency surgery in Batley and Spen.
Her murder, which came just days before the EU referendum, sparked a national outcry and prompted politicians to massively ramp up their security.
Mair was jailed for life for the attack.
In 2010 Labour MP Stephen Timms was stabbed by a woman who claimed she was seeking revenge for his support of the Iraq War at his constituency surgery in east London.
His attacker, Roshonara Choudhry, 21 a radicalised student, stabbed Mr Timms twice in the stomach before his assistant managed to drag her off.
The surgeon who operated on him described the injuries he suffered as “potentially life-threatening”.
Lib Dem MP Nigel Jones was stabbed and his assistant, Andy Pennington, murdered, when a man brandishing a sword burst into his constituency and attacked him in 2000.
Attacker Robert Ashman spent 8 years in a secure hospital for the attack.
In 1990, the Eastbourne MP was was killed by an IRA car bomb at his Sussex home at the age of 53.
Sir Anthony Berry
The MP for Enfield Southgate died in the IRA bombing of Brighton's Grand Hotel, where Margaret Thatcher was staying for the 1984 Conservative Party conference.
In 1981, the Ulster Unionist Party was shot dead by the IRA while holding a constituency surgery in a Belfast community centre in 1981.
The terror group also claimed the life of former Northern Ireland secretary Neave.
His car was blown up as he drove out of the parliamentary car park at Westminster in 1979.
Perceval is the only prime minister to have been murdered in office.
He was shot dead in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: "Devastated to learn of Sir David Amess' murder. A great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role.
"My heart goes out to Julia, his family, and all who loved him. Let us remember him and what he did with his life."
Theresa May wrote: "Heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess. A decent man and respected Parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties.
"A tragic day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family."
Communities Secretary Michael Gove tweeted: "David Amess's passing is heart-breakingly sad. Just terrible, terrible news.
"He 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."
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: "Awful, tragic news about David.
"A dedicated, thoughtful man and a true Parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career.
"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."
While Sadiq Khan said: "I am so deeply, deeply saddened by the tragic news that Sir David has passed away.
"He loved being an MP and was a great public servant. It is just awful.
"My thoughts and prayers, and those of all Londoners, are with David's loved ones at this time of unimaginable grief."
Today's stabbing comes five years after MP Jo Cox, 41, was gunned down and stabbed to death in broad daylight.
The Labour politician and mother was murdered by Thomas Mair, 53, who was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.
Her death was the first killing of a sitting British MP after the 1990 death of Conservative MP Ian Gow.
Sir David had written a book last year following Jo's death, saying her murder "spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting" their MPs.
Jo's husband Brendan Cox said: "Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself.
"There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets."
The Jo Cox Foundation, which was started after the MP's murder, said: "The Jo Cox Foundation is horrified to hear the news of the attack on Sir David Amess MP.
"We are thinking of him, his family and loved ones at this distressing time."
Sir David has been MP for Southend West since 1997 and first entered parliament in 1983.
Anyone with information or CCTV footage has been asked to call police on 101 quoting incident 445 of 15 October.
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