(CMR) British lawmaker David Amess was killed on Friday after being stabbed multiple times while meeting with his local constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London.
The pro-Brexit Conservative MP, 69, a father-of-five first elected to parliament in 1983, was attacked inside a church while holding a fortnightly consultation with his local constituents. A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder, and a knife was recovered at the scene, police said.
Flags were lowered to half-mast outside parliament, and tributes poured in from across the political spectrum for Amess, who has represented Southend West in Essex since 1997 and was MP for Basildon from 1983 to 1997.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “The reason I think people are so shocked and saddened is above all he was one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics.”
Former prime minister Theresa May said it was “a tragic day for our democracy.”
“A decent man and respected parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties,” she added.
Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer called the news “horrific and deeply shocking.” House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said Amess had “built a reputation for kindness” during his long career as an MP.
“In the coming days, we will need to discuss and examine MPs' security and any measures to be taken, but for now, our thoughts and prayers are with David's family, friends, and colleagues,” Hoyle added.