Tory MP Sir David Amess stabbed to death: ‘A loss for the country and attack on democracy’
Cambridgeshire MPs have paid tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed multiple times at a meeting with constituents.
South Cambridgeshire MP Conservative Anthony Browne said his death is a loss for the country and “an attack on democracy”.
Mr Browne tweeted: “The death of Sir David Amess is devastating news. Sir David was such a friendly, kind-hearted man. My thoughts are with his family and staff at this time. It is a loss for Parliament and for the country, and an attack on democracy.”
He added in a statement: “The death of David Amess is shocking and devastating news.
“Sir David was such a friendly, charming and kind-hearted man. A close friend and colleague to many, he took the time to welcome me to Parliament and I will always appreciate the chats we had over the last few years. It is such an appalling loss for Parliament and for the country, and my thoughts are with his family and staff.
“This is a truly awful day, and an attack on democracy as we know it. The world we live in has become so much more hostile for anyone to express their views, and attacks like this bring into sharp relief the human costs of such hostility. It should not be tolerated in politics or any walk of life.”
Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner said Sir David would be “sorely missed”.
He tweeted: “I am devastated to learn that Sir David Amess has now died. A servant to his constituents, to Parliament and the country over many, many years. He will be sorely missed. “My thoughts are with his family and friends at this traumatic time.”
In a statement, Mr Zeichner described working closely with Sir David on animal welfare issues, adding “I liked him very much”.
He said: “Sir David and I were from different parties and held different views. But there was common ground as well, and we worked closely on animal welfare issues, and often chatted in the lift together. I liked him very much and will miss him so. This is a very sad day for everyone who knew David, and it is important to note also that attacks like this make it even harder for our democracy to work effectively. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s loved ones at this most difficult of times.”
The 69-year-old victim, who has been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex midday today (Friday, October 15).
The suspect, a 25-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the Tory veteran was stabbed several times during a constituency surgery in Essex.
The father-of-five is the second sitting MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “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.”
Secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps tweeted: “Awful, tragic news about David.
“A dedicated, thoughtful man and a true Parliamentarian, who lost his life while serving the constituents who he worked relentlessly for throughout his career.”
Witnesses described the scene as “very distressing”.
A police spokesman said: “A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.
“We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today.
“We attended and found a man injured.
“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.”
Police said a 25 year-old man has been arrested and a knife was recovered.
Detectives are not looking for any other suspects and have asked witnesses with footage such as CCTV to come forward.
Aerial footage showed multiple police officers outside the church and an air ambulance at the scene.
A large cordon extended down Eastwood Road, with members of the public gathering behind it, and multiple side streets closed off.