Sir David Amess MP death: Boris Johnson and Priti Patel visit scene of fatal stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea

The man suspected of murdering the Southend West MP was arrested shortly after the stabbing on Friday afternoon

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited the Methodist church where Conservative MP Sir David Amess was murdered yesterday.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Home Secretary Priti Patel stood side by side with the prime minister, who laid a wreath outside Belfairs Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea.

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The three senior politicians arrived separately, paid their respects and left without speaking to any press at the scene.

MPs ‘cannot be cowed’

Their visit came following confirmation from The Met police force that the murder of the backbencher was a ‘terror incident’.

Home Secretary Priti Patel was also at the scene, she has called for an immediate review into the safety of MPs (Picture: Getty Images)

Following her attendance at the scene, Patel visited Southend police station, where she paid tribute to Sir David as a "man of the people" who was killed doing "a job he loved".

She said security measures were being put in place to protect MPs - but insisted they would carry on serving the country unimpeded.

"We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy," she said.

"We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation... to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected democracy."

Ms Patel maintained a balance could be found to allow face-to-face meetings with constituents to continue.

‘Kindest, nicest, most gentle’

Yesterday, the Prime Minister described Mr Amess as “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics,” and refused to comment on the safety of MPs at surgeries.

Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said the death was under the investigation of the counter-terrorism unit.

Sir Amess was stabbed to death just after midday on Friday, October 15, as he conducted a fortnightly constituency surgery at the church.

The 69-year-old, who had been an MP since 1983, was attacked inside the church by a man believed to be a British national of Somali heritage.

Police officers at the scene of the stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess in in Leigh-on-Sea (Picture: Getty Images)

The 25-year-old man has been arrested and remains in custody, the knife thought to be used in the murder was also retrieved by officers at the scene.

He is reported to have stood among a group of people waiting to speak to Mr Amess - who has been widely hailed by constituents and coworkers as a “lovely, lovely man” devoted to his electorate - and attacked him shortly after Mr Amess arrived in the church.

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”.

Ms Patel met police and representatives of the security and intelligence agencies after the stabbing.

“The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course,” the spokesman for Ms Patel said.

Her update is expected to be delivered in the House of Commons on Monday, 18 October.

‘Linked to Islamist extremism‘

The early investigation has revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”, the Met Police has confirmed, adding that officers were also carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area.

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.

The Daily Telegraph said Ms Patel’s review will examine Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protective security operation established in 2016 after several threats to MPs following Parliamentary debates on Syria.