UK Conservative MP Sir David Amess Dies After Being Stabbed 'Multiple Times' While Meeting Voters

© REUTERS / UK Parliament/JESSICA TAYLORSir David Amess asks the Prime Minister a question in Parliament in January 2020
Sir David Amess asks the Prime Minister a question in Parliament in January 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
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Police responded to reports of a stabbing at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. The victim was the local Conservative MP, Sir David Amess.
Conservative MP Sir David Amess, 69, has died after being stabbed while attending a constituency surgery at a church in Essex.
Essex Police say they have arrested a 25-year-old man at the scene on suspicion of murder after an incident at 12.05pm on Friday, 15 October.
Sir David is believed to have been operated on at the scene before airlifted to hospital in an air ambulance. He had been stabbed "multiple" times.
Ironically in March Sir David asked the prime minister "to commit to ensuring knife crime is reduced" following the death of 18-year-old Luke Bellfield in Leigh-on-Sea.
In June Sir David said the war on knife crime was not working and called for more stop-and-search challenges for people carrying weapons.
A constituency surgery is a regular event at which MPs meet voters to help them with issues they have or to discuss things they want brought up in Parliament.
Sir David had been the Tory MP for Southend West since 1997 and prior to that represent Basildon, also in Essex, since 1983. He was a strong supporter of Brexit.
Sir David, who was married with five children, was a backbench MP and had never held a ministerial post.
He was chair of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Qatar Group and had recently meet that country's emir during a visit to Doha.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi described him as a "committed public servant."
He had kept a fairly low profile in the House of Commons in recent years but had campaigned on animal rights and also for a permanent memorial to wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn.
The attack has echoes of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in Yorkshire in 2016.
The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, tweeted that it was "horrific and deeply shocking" news.
Prior to Jo Cox's murder the last attack on an MP in a constituency surgery was Labour MP Stephen Timms who tweeted that he was "appalled to hear of the attack" and said of Sir David: "I know him well and am thinking of him with very best wishes."
In 2000 Liberal Democrat Nigel Jones survived a samurai sword attack which killed a councillor, Andrew Pennington.
MPs are not protected by bodyguards at constituency surgeries unless they are cabinet ministers or are believed to face a particular terrorist threat.
John Lamb, a local councillor in Sir David's constituency, told the BBC he believed it was time protection was offered for MPs holding surgeries.
Essex Police said they did not believe there was any wider threat to the community and they appealed to the public to offer CCTV or doorbell camera app footage if they lived near the church.
Sir David was on the right of the Conservative Party and voted against bills expanding LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and lowering the age of consent.
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