British lawmaker killed in stabbing at church


David Amess, 69, was treated by emergency services but died at the scene, say police
A British lawmaker in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party was stabbed to death on Friday in a church by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district.
David Amess, 69, who represents Southend West in Essex, eastern England, was stabbed at around midday at a meeting at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
Armed police swooped in on the church and said a man had been arrested. Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
“He (Amess) was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene,” police said.
“A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.”
Amess was first elected to parliament to represent Basildon in 1983, and then stood for election in Southend West in 1997.
His website lists his main interests are “animal welfare and pro-life issues”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called Amess “a dedicated, thoughtful man and a true Parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career”.
Amess is the latest British MPs to have been attacked at his weekly constituency “surgery” with voters, which are typically held on Fridays when parliament is not sitting.
Pro-EU lawmaker Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist in 2016 in the run-up to the Brexit referendum.
The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in her memory, tweeted that it was “horrified to hear the news of the attack” on Amess.
“We are thinking of him, his family and loved ones at this distressing time,” it added.
Cox’s widower Brendan described the stabbing of Amess was “as cowardly as it gets”.
“Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification.”
Another Labour MP, Stephen Timms, was stabbed multiple times during an event in 2010, but recovered from “potentially life-threatening injuries” and is still an MP.
Timms said he was “appalled” at the latest attack.
In January 2000, Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones was injured and his assistant killed by a man wielding a ceremonial sword at a constituency surgery in Cheltenham, western England.