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Sir David Amess: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer lay flowers in Leigh-on-Sea

·2-min read

Watch: UK leaders visit church where lawmaker was killed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer have laid flowers at the scene where a Tory MP was stabbed to death on Friday.

Mr Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel arrived in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Saturday morning to pay tribute to Sir David Amess.

The Prime Minister laid a wreath at the front of Belfairs Methodist Church, where Sir David was attacked. 

On Friday, Mr Johnson said Sir David “was killed in his constituency surgery in a church after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sir David, who has been an MP since 1983, was stabbed several times during a “very distressing” incident at a constituency surgery in Essex.

A suspect has been arrested.

Government sources have said he is a British national who, from initial inquiries, appears to be of Somali heritage.

In a statement, the Met said Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, had formally declared the incident as terrorism.

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sir David Amess’s killer made no attempt to flee the scene after brutally stabbing the 69-year-old, witnesses have said. After the attack the man sat down patiently and waited for police to arrive. Two female staff members watched in horror as the attacker walked up to Sir David at around midday and stabbed him at Belfairs Methodist Church, where the MP was holding a constituency surgery meeting.

It was the first surgery Sir David had held at the church and details of the meeting had been advertised on his website and on social media. No appointments were necessary and constituents simply had to give their name and address staff on the door. Following the attack panicked staff called the police at 12.05pm, with officers arriving in minutes.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said every UK MP will be contacted by Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protective security operation established in 2016, to discuss their security arrangements following the death of Sir David Amess.

The spokesman said: “In light of yesterday’s tragic attack, every MP will be contacted individually by Op Bridger representatives in their local force to discuss their security arrangements, and to ensure they are aware of all advice pertaining to their personal safety and security.

“They will also speak to MPs about security arrangements for any events they are planning to attend in the coming days, so the appropriate advice can be provided.

“We encourage MPs to immediately report any security concerns to their local police force in order to keep themselves, their staff and members of the public attending surgeries safe. Funding is available through the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority for security needs based on threat assessments made by police.”

Watch: Southend constituents remember 'compassionate' MP who 'everybody loved'

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