Tory MP Sir David Amess stabbed multiple times at constituency surgery at church in Essex

15 October 2021, 13:35 | Updated: 15 October 2021, 15:42

Armed police at the scene outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea
Armed police at the scene outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea. Picture: Social Media

By Asher McShane

Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a constituency surgery at a church in Essex.

LATEST UPDATE: Tory MP Sir David Amess stabbed to death as suspect arrested on suspicion of murder

Police responded to reports of a stabbing at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea this afternoon. Armed police and forensics officers were seen outside the church after the stabbing.

MP Sir David Amess, 69, was stabbed at the scene with a large police presence there shortly before 1pm today.

Pictures from the scene being circulated online showed people sitting on a wall outside the church being comforted and speaking to officers.

Southend Tory MP David Amess has been stabbed
Southend Tory MP David Amess has been stabbed. Picture: Parliament

Eye-witness Anthony told LBC: "The scene was ‘completely and utterly swamped by police, ambulance, armed police.’

"I saw someone get taken out the building, put into the back of a police car.”

“Apparently he was stabbed quite a few times.

"It’s nothing that you think would happen round this area.”

“To have it next door to where you’re working is obviously very upsetting.

“It’s very hard, it’s very distressing that’s for sure."

Paramedics at the scene of the stabbing
Paramedics at the scene of the stabbing. Picture: Twitter

One person posted online: "David Amess Southend MP stabbed in Belfairs Methodist church Eastwood road literally as I was outside the building."

Another posted: “Something big going on outside Belfairs Methodist Church on Eastwood Road North near the Woodcutters.

A large police presence at the scene of the stabbing
A large police presence at the scene of the stabbing. Picture: LBC

“Police, ambulances and air ambulance!! Apparent stabbing!!”

The veteran politician, who was elected as an MP in 1983, attended an event in Parliament to support One Punch Awareness Week.

Earlier this year he spoke out about anti-social behaviour and knife crime. He is a firm supporter of Brexit and the Leave Means Leave campaign.

Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel are understood to be returning to London from a regional Cabinet meeting in Bristol following the attack.

Councillor John Lamb, who is at the scene where Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed, described him as an "amicable" family man.

He said he got the call about the "dreadful" attack just after midday and rushed to the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, but that the surrounding roads had already been cordoned off by police.

"He's a family man, he's got four daughters and a son," he said.

"He's always trying to help people and especially refugees he's tried to help. He's a very amicable person and he does stick by his guns, he says what he believes and he sticks by it."

The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox tweeted: "Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets."

The Methodist Church tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Sir David Amess MP and all affected following reports of a serious incident at Belfairs Church in Leigh-on-Sea.”

Police closed roads near the scene of the stabbing
Police closed roads near the scene of the stabbing. Picture: Twitter

Conservative MP and former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith tweeted: "My thoughts are with David Amess MP and his family at this awful time.

"Praying for a full recovery following this appalling, shocking news.

"This angry, violent behaviour cannot be tolerated in politics or any other walk of life..."

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP wrote online: "Truly terrible news. Thoughts and prayers with David and all his family at this awful time."

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "Horrific and deeply shocking news.

"Thinking of David, his family and his staff."

MP ir Peter Bottomley wrote: "David is a colleague, an upstanding MP and a friend since he first joined the Commons in 1983. Today’s news is of great concern. My team and I share in prayers and thoughts for David. There is much to be discussed on security for MPs but, for now, we hope for good news."

Essex police said in a statement: "We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October). Officers were on scene shortly after, arrested a man and recovered a knife.

"He is currently in custody. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident and do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the wider public.

"We want to thank the public who alerted us to the incident so quickly. We need anyone who saw anything or has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to contact us."

Cheltenham MP Nigel Jones was also stabbed at a constituency surgery in the town in 2000. His assistant Andrew Pennington was killed. The man had a samurai sword.