'I hoped to kill Michael Gove': Man accused of David Amess murder tells Old Bailey

7 April 2022, 13:12 | Updated: 17 May 2023, 09:32

'I hoped to kill Michael Gove': Man accused of David Amess murder tells Old Bailey. Picture: Alamy / Metropolitan Police

By Liam Gould

The man accused of the murder of MP Sir David Amess has told the jury that he had 'hoped' to kill Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove as he was a "harm to Muslims."

Terror suspect Ali Harbi Ali told the court he had "no regrets" for killing David Amess, and that he had 'hoped to kill Michael Gove' as he has begun giving evidence at the Old Bailey.

The 26-year old from Kentish Town in north London is accused of murdering the MP at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, last year, and preparing acts of terrorism.

Ali was asked why he had a note on his phone about his "plans" to kill Cabinet minister Michael Gove.

Ali said: "That was plans I had to attack and hopefully kill Michael Gove at the time. I believe he was someone who was a harm to Muslims."

"I thought if I couldn't go join Islamic State, I should try and do something here to help Muslims here."

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Ali told prosecutor Tom Little QC he had no regrets over killing Sir David, who he referred to as simply "David". He denied being "utterly shameless".

He said: "I wouldn't use the word 'shameless', but I don't have any shame."

Mr Little said: "You don't think you did any thing wrong."

Ali replied: "If I thought I did anything wrong, I wouldn't have done it."

Ali spoke back on previous comments he made to police that killing Sir David was an act of "terror" and compared his actions with MPs who voted for Syrian airstrikes.

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He told the court: "I don't think I would use those words now.

"If I was to use that word on myself, I would expect the British politicians who bombed Syria to use that word on themselves.

He added: "I regard myself as a moderate Muslim."

Closing his evidence after around 80 minutes in the witness box, flanked by three security guards, Ali said what he wanted his actions to achieve was: "For them (MPs) to cease hostilities with Muslims."