A Conserative MP has died after being stabbed multiple times at a surgery in his constituency, police have confirmed.
Sir David Amess, who was the Tory MP for Southend West in Essex, was attacked in an incident on Friday (15 October) afternoon at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
Officers arrived at the scene in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm and arrested a man, and a knife was recovered from the area.
Essex Police confirmed that a man has been arrested and officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.
Sir David , 69, had been receiving emergency treatment for his injuries but police have confirmed that he sadly died at the scene.
In a statement, Essex Police said: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.
“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.
“He is currently in custody.
“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”
Essex Police has said that anyone with information about the incident should contact the force quoting incident 445 of 15 October.
Who was Sir David Amess?
Sir David was a Member of Parliament since 1983, first representing the area of Basildon and later Southend West since 1997.
He was a vocal Eurosceptic and supported Brexit in the EU referendum in 2016 and a supporter of the pro-Brexit campaign, Leave Means Leave, signing a letter to the Prime Minister in 2017.
During his career, he sponsored many Bills including the Abortion (Amendment) Bill (1996-7), the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act (1988) and the Warm Homes Bill, which passed into law in December 2000 as the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act.
His main interests and areas of expertise included animal welfare and pro-life issues.
He consistently voted to ban fox hunting and hare coursing, and was a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
Sir David had also given his support to many campaigns, including banning cages for game birds, puppy farming and smuggling, and ending the transport of live animals for export.
Since entering the House of Commons, he also generally opposed Bills furthering LGBT rights, including equal age of consent and same-sex marriage.
He was appointed the title of Knight Bachelor in the 2015 New Year Honours for his political and public service, and is a member of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor.
The MP picked up several awards in recognition of his commitment to animal welfare over the years, including the Animal Welfare and Environment Champion award in 2011.
In 2014, he was nominated for the Policy Driver for Animal Rights Protection award at the Grassroot Diplomat Awards 2014 for his long standing dedication to animal rights.
His campaigning efforts in the House of Commons in recent years are most closely associated with the Essex coastal town, including his long-running campaign to make Southend a city.
In December 2019, he secured an adjournment debate in the Commons specifically on the campaign and told MPs: “I am not messing around.
“We have got it from the Prime Minister that Southend is going to become a city – and it will become a city.”
Community spirit, the proposed marina and the airport were among his arguments, which have continued in subsequent months.
As a strident supporter of the British monarchy, Sir David saw another opportunity in November 2020 as the Commons considered plans for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, asking for a new statue of the Queen and for a city status competition to ensure Southend is finally elevated.
In March 2021, Sir David repeated his statue calls, insisting the Queen deserved one for being a “great” monarch.
His campaign for a memorial to Dame Vera Lynn on the White Cliffs of Dover also won support from a minister in May this year.
Sir David was married to Julia Arnold and together they have a son and four daughters.
The couple’s eldest daughter, actress Katie Amess, publicly criticised her father for his stance on same-sex marriage after producing a film in support of gay rights in 2013.
Tributes to the MP
Fellow politicians have been sharing tributes to Sir David in the wake of his death, describing him as a “friend to everyone”.
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.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Elected representatives from across the political spectrum will be united in sadness and shock today.
“In a democracy, politicians must be accessible and open to scrutiny, but no-one deserves to have their life taken while working for and representing their constituents.”
Judith Canham, deputy chair of the local Conservative club, described Sir David was a “true constituency MP”. She told Sky News: “I just can’t believe it, how anybody could harm a kind man like David I don’t know.
“Words can’t say, he’s such a lovely man who is liked across the parties… he gets on with everybody.
“I cannot understand how anybody could be so wicked and cruel to hurt this kind man.
“He is a true constituency MP. If there has been anything going on in the town, functions… anything really that he’s been invited to, he’s always turned up to give his support.
“He’s a friend to everyone, he has his strong opinions… (but) he’s got a photographic memory and seems to remember everyone and took an interest in everybody.
“I’m terribly in shock. I burst into tears as soon as I heard because we do love him dearly.”
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps described Sir David Amess as “a true parliamentarian”.
He tweeted: “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.”
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