Sir David Amess: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer lay flowers in Leigh-on-Sea

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer have laid flowers at the scene where a Tory MP was stabbed to death on Friday.

© AP Johnson

Mr Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel arrived in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Saturday morning to pay tribute to Sir David Amess.

The Prime Minister laid a wreath at the front of Belfairs Methodist Church, where Sir David was attacked.

On Friday, Mr Johnson said Sir David “was killed in his constituency surgery in a church after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom.”

© Provided by Evening Standard (REUTERS)

He added: “The reason I think people are so shocked and saddened is above all he was one of the kindest nicest, most gentle people in politics, and he also had an outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable, whether they were people who are suffering from endometriosis, passing laws to end cruelty to animals or doing a huge amount to reduce the fuel poverty.”

He added: “David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future. And we’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much loved friend and colleague and our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children and his family.”

Sir David, who has been an MP since 1983, was stabbed several times during a “very distressing” incident at a constituency surgery in Essex.

© Provided by Evening Standard Sir David Amess (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

A suspect has been arrested.

Government sources have said he is a British national who, from initial inquiries, appears to be of Somali heritage.

In a statement, the Met said Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, had formally declared the incident as terrorism.

The investigation is being led by counter-terrorism officers.

The early investigation has revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”, the force said.

As part of the investigation, officers were also carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area, the Met said.

The force believe the man acted alone and are not seeking anyone else in connection with the matter at this time, but inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are continuing.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect” following the attack.

Chief constable of Essex Police Ben-Julian Harrington said 69-year-old Southend West MP Sir David was “simply dispensing his duties when his life was horrifically cut short”.

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