Sir David Amess MP death: The British MPs who were killed in office - from Jo Cox to Sir Anthony Berry

 There were nearly 700 crimes against MPs from 2016 to 2020, police data has revealed

The death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess has come as a shock to the country, as questions are raised about the safety of serving politicians.

His murder occurred just over five years after Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in the street, while en route to a constituency meeting.

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The Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation Team, set up by the Met Police in 2016 following Cox’s death, has revealed it received 582 reports of malicious communications and handled 46 cases of harassment since its conception.

Nine cases were classified as relating to terrorism, the Met confirmed Mr Amess’ murder is also being treated as a terrorist incident.

In 2019, the Met said that crimes against MPs increased by 126% between 2017 and 2018, with a 90% rise in the first four months of 2019.

Keir Starmer, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel pay their respects at the scene of Sir David Amess’ murder (Picture: Getty Images)

Policing figures also show a sharp rise in reports since 2018, with 34 incidents in December 2018 and 128 incidents in January 2019.

There were three threats to kill in the four months for which figures were provided.

The death of Mr Amess, 69, has led some MPs to call for an immediate halt to face to face surgeries until an inquiry into their safety is conducted.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has called for an immediate review of MPs’ safety, she is expected to deliver the findings to the House of Commons on Monday, 18 October.

However, the threat to MPs is not new - as several other MPs have been fatally attacked while in office.

MPs killed in office

Sir David Amess

Mr Amess was murdered while attending a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea

Having served the people of Essex since 1983, Mr Amess was considered a veteran of the House of Commons.

He was stabbed several times, according to reports, when he arrived at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea as he prepared to conduct a routine constituency surgery.

Mr Amess leaves behind his wife, Julia, and five children. A 25-year-old man has been arrested as the only suspect in the fatal stabbing, the incident is being treated as terror-related.

Jo Cox MP

Jo Cox was murdered while on her way to a constituency surgery in 2016 (Picture: PA)

Jo Cox was murdered while on her way to a constituency surgery on 16 June 2016, at the height of the Brexit campaign.

The mother-of-two was murdered in her constituency by far-right extremist Thomas Mair, who shot and stabbed her in Birstall, West Leeds.

The 41-year-old had been the Labour MP for Batley and Spen for just over a year when she was murdered. Her sister, Kim Leadbeater, was elected as MP for her late sister’s seat in 2021.

Ms Cox was the first MP to be murdered in office since 1990.

Ian Gow MP

Ian Gow was murdered

A former private parliamentary secretary to Margaret Thatcher, Eastbourne MP Mr Gow was killed by an IRA car bomb at his Sussex home in 1990.

The 53-year-old was assassinated by the IRA when a semtex bomb was planted under Gow’s Austin Montego car, which was parked in the driveway of his house in Hankham, near Pevensey in East Sussex.

As Gow reversed out of his driveway, it exploded and he died just ten minutes later.

His death was described by Margaret Thatcher as “an irreplaceable loss,” and then-Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock described it as “ terrible atrocity against a man whose only offence was to speak his mind”.

Sir Anthony Berry

Sir Anthony Berry was victim of the Brighton bombings in 1984.

The MP for Enfield Southgate died in the IRA bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel, where Mrs Thatcher was staying for the 1984 Conservative Party conference.

He had served in office for twenty years until his murder on 12 October 1984, he was 59 years old.

His wife, Lady Berry, was injured in the incident. In September 1986, IRA member Patrick Magee received eight life sentences for his part in the bombing, but was released from prison in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Robert Bradford MP

Methodist preacher Robert Bradford was a member of the Orange Lodge (Picture: Pacemaker Press/Irish Times)

Mr Bradford, a Belfast Ulster and Unionist MP, was was shot dead while holding a constituency surgery in a Belfast community centre in 1981.

The 40-year-old had been a Methodist minister and member of the Orange order, he was assassinated by the IRA.

Kenneth Campbell, the 29-year-old Protestant caretaker in the centre, was also killed in the attack.

Airey Neave

Airey Neave was a former soldier and Shadow secretary for Northern Ireland at the time of his death (Picture: PA)

Neave was a British soldier who served as an MP from 1953 until his murder in 1979.

He had been a prisoner of war during World War II and later served as the Conservative MP for Abington.

The 63-year-old had been recently appointed the Shadow minister for Northern Ireland when he was killed in a car bomb in the Westminster car park.

He lost both legs in the explosion and died an hour later after being rushed to Westminster Hospital.

Following his death, Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher described him as “one of freedom’s warriors”.

She added: “No one knew of the great man he was, except those nearest to him. He was staunch, brave, true, strong; but he was very gentle and kind and loyal. It’s a rare combination of qualities.”

Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister

Spencer Perceval was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons while Prime Minister (Picture: Getty Images)

The only prime minister to have been murdered in office was Spencer Perceval, who was shot dead in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812.

He was assassinated by a lone attacker who made no attempt to flee the scene, the man was merchant John Bellingham who had been previously arrested in Russia and felt he was treated wrongly by the government when all his applications for compensation failed.