Ali Harbi Ali charged with terrorism-related murder of MP Sir David Amess

21 October 2021, 12:34 | Updated: 21 October 2021, 14:56

Police charge Ali Harbi Ali for murder of MP Sir David Amess

By Sophie Barnett

Ali Harbi Ali has been charged with the murder of MP Sir David Amess and preparing terrorist acts, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

In a statement, Nick Price, of the CPS, said it has authorised charges against Ali Harbi Ali, of north London, for the murder of MP Sir David Amess on Friday 15 October.

"We will submit to the court that this murder has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations," he said.

"He has also been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts. This follows a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation."

Ali has been remanded in custody after appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with murder.

Read more: Hundreds attend candlelit vigil for MP Sir David Amess as terror suspect detained

Read more: MPs face 'substantial' threat in wake of Sir David Amess stabbing, Priti Patel says

Sir David, a Tory MP of nearly 40 years, was stabbed to death in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend in Essex on Friday, October 15.

MP Sir David Amess dead after being stabbed at constituency meeting

Armed police descended on Belfairs Methodist Church and an air ambulance was deployed, but paramedics were unable to save him.

Ali was arrested at the scene on suspicion of Sir David's murder.

The 25-year-old was detained under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and detectives had been given until Friday to question him after a warrant of further detention was granted.

The Metropolitan Police declared the incident an act of terrorism, with its early inquiries indicating "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism".

Matt Jukes, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, said Sir David's "dedication to his family, his constituents and his community, and his positive impact on the lives of so many has shone through".

Read more: 'Our hearts are shattered': Family of MP Sir David Amess release emotional tribute

Tributes paid to Tory MP Sir David Amess

He said: "Today's charge is a significant milestone in the case, but the work from my colleagues in the Met's Counter Terrorism Command will continue apace.

"There has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged.

"I understand the huge level of public interest in this case, but now a charge has been brought, it is vitally important that everyone exercises restraint when commenting on it publicly, to ensure future court proceedings are not prejudiced in any way."

He also sent his deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David Amess, who died so tragically.

No one else is being sought in connection with the investigation, he added.