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Conservative MP David Amess Has Died Following Stabbing At Constituency Surgery

4 min read

Police have confirmed Conservative MP David Amess has died after he was stabbed at a constituency surgery.

The 69-year-old father of five had served as an MP since 1983, first for Basildon and then from 1997 for Southend West.

News of the murder prompted shock and tributes across Westminster, with deputy prime minister Dominic Raab saying he was "heartbroken".

Raab described his colleague as a "great common sense politician and a formidable campaiger with a big heart, and tremendous generosity of spirity - including towards those he disagreed with".

He added: "RIP my friend."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sir David was a "fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague".

"He was one of the kindest nicest, most gentle people in politics, and he also had an outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable," he said.

Amess was well known for his work around animal welfare, and his often-humorous campaign to have his constituency, Southend, designated as a city.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper said Amess was "completely dedidcated" to his local area, adding he was one of the "kindest, friendliest people you could meet".

Amess was attacked on Friday afternoon while holding a constituency surgery which provide an opportunity for MPs to meet with local residents to discuss their concerns or offer assistance.

SNP MP Brendan O'Hara said the news he had been murdered "while performing his duty as a constituency MP is truly, truly shocking."

Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said the news was a "punch in the face".

"I worked with David on maternity safety & mental health for young people about which he was passionate," he tweeted. "He was kind and fun and you always left him with a smile on your face. Today we are left with nothing but grief. RIP dear friend."

In a statement, Essex Police confirmed a 25-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

"We are now in a position to confirm the man who died in Leigh-on-Sea today was Sir David Amess MP," they said.

"We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October) to reports Mr Amess, 69, had been stabbed.

"Despite the best efforts of paramedics, sadly, he died at the scene.

They added: "A 25 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody.

"We have recovered a knife from the scene and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident."

The Southend West MP, 69, was reportedly stabbed multiple times while holding a constituency meeting at Belfairs Methodist Chruch in Leigh-on-Sea.

A woman working in a nearby shop told PoliticsHome following the incident: "There's been police, ambulances and the air ambulance. Everyone's just in shock really."

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the news was "heart-breakingly sad".

"Just terrible, terrible news. He was a good and gentle man, he showed charity and compassion to all, hIs every word and act were marked by kindness. My heart goes out to his family," he wrote.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "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."

Lord Cormack, Conservative peer and Life President of The House, said: "This is a terrible day for parliamentary democracy and the devastating day for all of us who knew and liked Sir David Amess.

"And it was impossible not to like him; he was one of the most friendly and ebullient of colleagues, who was passionately attached to his constituencies, both Basildon and Southend, and who made a real contribution to Parliament, not least in his work with the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union."

He added: "You never saw him without a smile on his face and even though he had very firm political views, he got on with members in all parts of the House. He will be much missed and fondly remembered by everyone who was fortunate enough to call him a colleague and a friend."

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