Sir David Amess: MPs to pay tribute to late Southend MP in Parliament as family urge people to ‘set aside their differences’

It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed MPs could be granted police protection while conducting constituency surgeries.

MPs will pay tribute to late Conservative MP Sir David Amess in Parliament today following his fatal stabbing at his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday (15 October).

It comes after 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali was named as the only suspect in the case of Mr Amess’ murder, which has been declared a terrorist incident by police.

It also follows comments from Home Secretary Priti Patel revealing MPs could be granted police protection while conducting constituency surgeries.

After a minute’s silence at 2.30pm today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will open a session that will go on for at least two hours during which MPs will pay their respects to the deceased Southend West MP.

This session will be followed by a memorial service at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster.

Their tributes will follow those of Mr Amess’ family, who released a statement urging “people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all”.

Whilst describing their hearts as “shattered”, Mr Amess’ wife Julia and their five children declared their enormous pride for the late MP.

They recalled two of his great passions at the time of his death - a campaign to raise funds for a memorial to Dame Vera Lynn and his bid to gain Southend city status.

“Strong and courageous is an appropriate way to describe David. He was a patriot and a man of peace.”

Sir David Amess’ family described the late MP as “strong and courageous” (image: PA) Sir David Amess’ family described the late MP as “strong and courageous” (image: PA)
Sir David Amess’ family described the late MP as “strong and courageous” (image: PA)

What do we know about murder suspect Ali Harbi Ali?

The suspect is believed to be of Somali heritage but is a British national.

The police are not looking for any other suspects at this time, it is believed that Mr Ali was a lone attacker.

It is understood that Mr Ali was referred to the counter-terrorist Prevent scheme some years ago, but was never a formal subject of interest to MI5.

He was later discharged from the programme, which aims to prevent radicalisation of those who are targeted by extremist organisations to become terrorists.

Mr Ali has been detained at a London police station under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Police have until Friday 22 October to charge him with an offence.

What happened to Sir David Amess MP?

Here are five key events in the death of the Conservative MP for Southend West:

  • Friday 15 October: At midday, Tory MP Sir David Amess is stabbed multiple times at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend while attending a constituency surgery. A 25-year-old man is arrested by police. Mr Amess’ death is confirmed by Essex Police just after 5pm.
  • Friday 15 October: In a statement at 6.29pm at Southend Police Station, Essex Police chief constable Ben-Julian Harrington says the investigation into Sir David’s death will be led by counter-terrorism officers.
  • Saturday 16 October: On Saturday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer arrive at Leigh-on-Sea to pay tribute to Sir David, with Mr Johnson laying a wreath at the front of Belfairs Methodist Church
  • Saturday 16 October: At 9pm, the Metropolitan Police announce in a statement they have been granted a warrant of further detention for the man arrested on suspicion of Mr Amess’ murder. The PA News Agency names the suspect as Ali Harbi Ali.
  • Sunday 17 October: Home Secretary Priti Patel tells Sky News “protection” for MPs carrying out their duties was being considered, as well as a “whole spectrum” of other measures aimed at protecting the elected members.