PM says ‘our hearts are filled with sadness’ over Sir David Amess’ death

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Boris Johnson tonight paid tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Ames, who has been stabbed to death multiple times.

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In a statement from Number 10, the PM, who looked shocked, said the nation has lost “a good public servant and a very dear friend”.

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Sir David Ames died after being stabbed multiple times in a constituency surgery in Essexcredit: David Beber – The Times
Boris Johnson pays tribute to popular Tory MP

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Boris Johnson pays tribute to popular Tory MP

Boris, who spent the day with his cabinet in Bristol, said: “I think today all our hearts are filled with shock and sadness.

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“Sir David Ames was killed in surgery in his constituency in a church after nearly 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of Britain.

“I think people are so shocked and saddened that above all he was one of the kindest, nicest, gentlest people in politics and he also had an excellent record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable. .

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“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and its future, and we have lost a fine public servant and a very dear friend and colleague today.

“Our thoughts are with his wife, his children and his family today.”

His wife, Carey, described the much respected MP as “a huge animal lover and a true gentleman”.

She said: “He was extremely kind and nice. This is completely unjust.”

Flags fly at half-mast tonight over Downing St and the Houses of Parliament.

Sir David, 69, was attacked this afternoon at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, during a constituency surgery.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested for his murder.

The MP, representing Southend West, was swooped down by armed police after he was attacked at an afternoon meeting.

This afternoon politicians across the country expressed grief over the attack and paid tribute to the “dear” MP.

Cabinet ministers said they were “devastated” by the news.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “a great man, a great friend and a great parliamentarian who died while fulfilling his democratic role”.

He continued: “My heart goes out to Julia, her family and everyone who loves her. Let us remember her and what she did with her life.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the long-serving backbencher was “a true parliamentarian”.

He continued: “A dedicated, thoughtful man who lost his life while serving the constituents who worked tirelessly for his entire career.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Sir David was “a lovely, lovely man”.

Police have arrested a suspect

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Police have arrested a suspect
Attack on Church Hall in Essex

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Attack on Church Hall in Essexcredit: Paul Edwards
A component flowers near the attack scene

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A component flowers near the attack scenecredits: PA

Top Labor figures also expressed grief over the death of an aide who was popular throughout parliament.

Leader Sir Keir Starmer said Sir David was a “dedicated public servant” and “highly respected in Parliament”.

He said: “It is a dark and shocking day. The whole nation will feel it intensely. Let us come together in response to these horrific incidents.”

“We will show once again that violence, intimidation and threats to our democracy will never do their job on the relentless commitment of public servants.”

Cardiff South MP Stephen Doughty said: “Sir David was always an absolute gentleman to me and loved on all sides.

“A true champion for his constituency. It’s a dark day for our public life, so sadly again.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said his death was “really terrible news”.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said it was “a truly terrible day for British politics”.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the attack as “terrible beyond words”.

She said: “Elected representatives from across the political spectrum will unite in grief and shock today.

“In a democracy, politicians should be accessible and open to scrutiny, but no one deserves to take their own life to work for and represent their constituents.”

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was “deeply saddened” by Sir David’s death and described it as a “truly disgusting and appalling act”.

All the four surviving former Prime Ministers also paid tribute to the long-serving MP.

Theresa May said her death was “heartbreaking” and “a sad day for our democracy”.

He said: “A decent man and a respected parliamentarian, killed in his own community in the performance of his public duties.”

MP Security Review

David Cameron said that Sir David was “the most committed parliamentarian you could ever hope to meet”.

He continued: “David Ames was a kind and completely decent man. Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today.”

Tony Blair, who became a first-time MP in the 1983 election, said he was “horrified” by the attack.

“Although on the opposite political sides I have always found him to be a polite, decent and completely likable colleague who was respected throughout the House.”

Sir John Major said: “This is indeed heart-wrenching news of a good and decent man who – for more than 30 years – was a devoted public servant.

“My heart goes out to his family.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the security of MPs would need to be reviewed after the attack.

He added: “This is an incident that will send a wave of shock to the parliamentary community and the entire country.”

Priti Patel said questions about the security of MPs were “rightly being asked” after the attack.

The home secretary promised to “provide updates in due course” on what else could be done to protect the lawmakers.

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Sir David, a popular figure among his peers, has been an MP since 1983.

The Father of Five is known for his campaigns on animal welfare and fuel poverty.

A man is believed to have gone to the Belfairs Methodist Church and stabbed Sir David several times.

Essex Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man was stabbed in Leh-on-Sea.

“We were called to an address on Eastwood Road North just after 12.05 pm today.

“We ran and found one person injured. He was treated by emergency services, but sadly, he died on the spot.

“A 25-year-old man was immediately arrested and a knife was recovered after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder.

“He is currently in custody. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.”

Frightened eyewitnesses described how gun police “completely and utterly swamped” the scene.

One said: “”I saw someone being pulled out of the building, put behind a police car.

“Obviously he was stabbed several times.

“It’s so hard, it’s definitely very upsetting.”

Another said they saw undercover police cars running near their laundrette near the church as the bloodshed unfolded.

It comes five years after 41-year-old MP Joe Cox was shot dead in broad daylight.

The Labor politician and mother was murdered by Thomas Meyer, 53, who was sentenced to life imprisonment.

His death was the first murder of a sitting British MP since the death of Conservative MP Ian Go in 1990.

Responding to today’s attack, his widow Brendan said: “Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself.

“There’s no excuse, no justification. This is as funky as it gets.”

Witness reveals the moment police ‘swamped’ the church after stabbing MP David Ames

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