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Tributes left to Tory MP Sir David Amess as police declare terror incident
16 October 2021, 07:31 | Updated: 16 October 2021, 17:10
Tributes have been left to Conservative MP Sir David Amess after he was stabbed to death while meeting his constituents.
Police have declared Friday's tragedy as a terrorist incident, which unfolded at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend.
Sir David had been holding a surgery, where locals can meet their representative in Parliament, when he was fatally stabbed.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and taken in to custody.
On Saturday morning, flowers, notes and a balloon had been left near police tape at the scene, paying tribute to the 69-year-old politician, who had served in the Commons since 1983.
One note thanked him for his support for Surfers Against Sewage, the marine conservation group, and the local community.
Another said he was an “honourable friend” of the Iranian people in their bid for freedom and democracy in Iran.
The balloon, which was left with flowers, read: “RIP we will miss you”.
Among Sir David’s main interests in Parliament were animal welfare and pro-life issues.
Politicians including Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer left tributes to him.
The Prime Minister 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.
"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," said Mr Johnson in a video.
"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.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his "heart goes out" to Sir David's children, staff, friends and constituents, calling yesterday a "dark and shocking day".
The early investigation into what happened has revealed "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism", the Met said.
Sources have told the PA news agency the man is believed to be British with Somali heritage.
Two addresses were searched in the London area. It is thought the man acted alone and nobody else is being sought.
All police forces have been asked to review their security arrangements for MPs.