Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer leave flowers to Sir David Amess after 'terror incident'

16 October 2021, 09:15 | Updated: 16 October 2021, 13:48

Boris Johnson left flowers with Sir Keir Starmer
Boris Johnson left flowers with Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Sir David Amess by leaving flowers near a church in Essex.

The Tory MP was stabbed to death during a constituency meeting there on Friday.

The Prime Minister arrived with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to leave flowers near Belfairs Methodist Church, where the incident took place.

In a note, Mr Johnson called his fellow Conservative a "fine parliamentarian and much-loved colleague and friend".

Sir David, an MP of more than 30 years' service, was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon.

The Met is treating what happened as a terror incident and said its early inquiries suggested a possible link to Islamist extremism.

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A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

On Saturday, Mr Johnson arrived with Sir Keir and Home Secretary Priti Patel to leave flowers alongside the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

A church service later took place in Sir David's memory.

Speaking on Friday, after the tragedy, Mr Johnson said: "All our hearts are full of shock and sadness today to the loss of Sir David Amess MP, who 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."

He said Sir David was "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics" and praised his record of passing laws to protect vulnerable people.

"David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future and we've lost today a fine public servant and a much loved friend and colleague, and our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children and his family," he added.

A review into the security arrangements for MPs is underway in police forces, with the attack calling into question how safe elected representatives are when they meet people.

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

"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," the spokesman said.

"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."

Speaking on Saturday, Ms Patel said Sir David was a "man of the people", a "dear and loyal friend" and a "devoted husband and father".

She said surgeries were an important part of MPs' work and that this attack cannot "get in the way of our functioning democracy".

This article is being updated