Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

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TORY MP Sir David Amess was knifed to death in a terror attack, cops have confirmed.

A 25-year-old man was held by armed cops after Sir David, 69, was stabbed multiple times yesterday at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in Essex

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Armed cops on the scene in Essex after the horror unfolded

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Essex Police confirmed counter terrorism officers are leading the investigation Credit: UkNewsinPictures

Anti-terror cops revealed the arrested British national of Somali origin is thought to have been inspired by Islamic extremism.

It is understood the suspect lived in Sir David’s Southend West constituency after his family came to the UK from the war-torn East African country in the 1990s.

Urgent background checks are being carried out on him to establish any potential links with jihadist groups.


The tragedy comes as…

  • Tributes have flooded in for Sir David from the political world
  • The MP 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
  • Boris Johnson says ‘our hearts are filled with shock and sadness’
  • Priti Patel launches review into MPs’ safety after killing
  • Tears at vigil as friends and constituents remember much-loved MP

Initial investigations indicate the suspect was not known to counter-terror cops or security services.

The suspect’s health records are also being examined to check on his psychiatric history.

Essex Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington confirmed that national counter-terrorism officers are leading the investigation.

Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon formally declared the incident as terrorism today.

Officers are currently carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area, The Met said today.


Have you seen the raids or do you have any information? Contact The Sun exclusive@the-sun.co.uk or call 020 7782 4100


It comes after Sir David’s killer booked an appointment to see the MP before stabbing him to death at his constituency surgery in Essex.

The 69-year-old, who represents Southend West in Essex, was attacked just after midday at Belfairs Methodist Church.

A local source said he was stabbed up to 17 times.

Paramedics frantically battled to save the stricken MP while horrified constituents watched as the suspect was led away from the bloodbath.

Essex Police confirmed last night counter-terrorism officers will lead the investigation into his death.

TERROR PROBE

Sources told The Guardian the suspect arrested had the same details as someone previously referred to the government's anti-radicalisation programme Prevent.

John Lamb, councillor for neighbouring West Leigh, said Sir David was with two female members of staff – one from his constituency office and one from his parliamentary office – when a man “literally got a knife out and just began stabbing him”.

Mr Lamb told The Sun that the two heroic staff — including PA Julie Cushion — were heartbroken.

He said: “They are devastated. I’ve no idea of the motive. He had no known enemies.

“I’m told the man was waiting calmly to be seen. It’s horrendous. So awful.”

Speaking at a press conference yesterday evening, Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said the force will “keep an open mind” in their probe.

Cops say they do not believe there is any further threat to people in the area.

However, Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”, a Home Office spokesman said.

Officers confirmed the married dad-of-five was declared dead at the scene.

Lee Jordison, 40, told how a woman had run out of the church screaming “someone's been stabbed, please get here soon, he's not breathing” after the tragedy unfolded.

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.

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Essex Police confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in their investigation.

The force said: “We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm.

“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 was cancelled.

The Prime Minister tonight led tributes to the MP, describing him as a “much-loved friend and colleague”.

Mr Johnson said: “All our hearts are full of shock and sadness today at the loss of Sir David Amess MP, who 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.

“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future and we have lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also paid their respects this evening, saying they are “shocked and saddened” by Sir David's killing.

Prince William and Kate Middleton added their “thoughts and prayers” are with his family, friends and colleagues.

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.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said questions are “rightly being asked” about the safety of MPs following the killing of Sir David Amess and she will “provide updates in due course”.

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.”

'FAMILY MAN'

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.”

Mr 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.”

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.”

'TRUE PARLIAMENTARIAN'

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.”

'COWARDLY'

Yesterday'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.

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Boris Johnson paid tribute to Sir David following the attack Credit: Universal News & Sport

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

The dad-of-five pictured with wife Julie and four of his children Credit: Twitter

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Sir David previously pictured with his wife Julia and three of their children Credit: Rex

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

The MP represents Southend West in Essex Credit: pixel8000

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Sir David pictured with Boris Johnson

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

An air ambulance has left the scene

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Police confirmed a man has been arrested

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Forensic officers and armed cops worked at the scene Credit: Nick Obank

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Counter terror cops are now leading the investigation Credit: Nick Obank

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Cops cordoned off Belfairs Methodist Church this afternoon Credit: Getty

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Flags were lowered to half mast outside Parliament yesterday Credit: PA

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Tributes have poured in for the MP as flowers were placed at the scene Credit: Splash

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

The suspect remains in custody where he is being quizzed on suspicion of murder Credit: The Sun

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Police outside the church where Sir David was attacked Credit: The Sun

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

The MP has sadly died from his injuries

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Sir David had tweeted about the meeting

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Witnesses watched as the knifeman stormed the church Credit: pixel8000

Sir David Amess knifed to death in terror attack as cops and Mi5 probe whether suspect inspired by Islamic extremism

Tributes have flooded in for the MP

Witness reveals moment cops ‘swamped’ church after MP David Amess stabbed

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