British lawmaker dies after stabbing

By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 6:30 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021
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11:38 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

David Amess said he "regularly" checked his locks after the murder of Jo Cox

Police forensics officers work at the scene of a stabbing at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on October 15.
Police forensics officers work at the scene of a stabbing at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on October 15. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Conservative MP Sir David Amess died Friday after he was stabbed several times at a constituency meeting in his Essex district.

Amess's stabbing is the second murder of a sitting British lawmaker in five years, after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed in her constituency in 2016.

In a book he wrote last year about being a Member of Parliament, Amess said that Cox's murder was "totally unexpected" and that the event had changed the way MPs interact with members of the public, particularly in relation to constituency surgeries.

"These increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians," he wrote in "Ayes & Ears."

"I myself have over the years experienced nuisance from the odd member of the general public at my own property. We regularly check our locks," Amess added.
12:01 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Former UK prime ministers remember David Amass: "He was the most committed MP"

At least two former UK prime ministers have reacted to news of Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) David Amess's killing Friday.

David Cameron, who served as prime minister from 2010 until 2016, called the news "devastating, horrific & tragic."

"He was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet," Cameron said.

Gordon Brown, who served as prime minister before Cameron from 2007 until 2010, offered his condolences to Amass's friends and family.

Theresa May, who served as prime minister from 2016 until 2019, called the stabbing "heartbreaking" and described Amess as a "decent man and respected Parliamentarian."

Former prime minister Tony Blair, who served in the role from 1997 to 2007, said he was “shocked and horrified” by the murder of Amess.

“David and I came into Parliament together in 1983,” he said in a statement.

“Though on opposite political sides I always found him a courteous, decent and thoroughly likeable colleague who was respected across the House," he said.

“This is a terrible and sad day for our democracy," he added.

11:18 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Local Conservative councillor calls David Amess "irreplaceable"

David Garston, a local Conservative councillor of Southend West in Essex, said Sir David Amess was an “irreplaceable” constituency MP whose approachability left him “vulnerable.”

“He was probably one of the best constituency MPs in the country, and because he was so accessible and because he was everywhere, he obviously left himself vulnerable and didn’t think twice about it,” Mr. Garston told the PA news agency.

The councillor said that when Sir David came to his ward, “you couldn’t get very far because he’d stop every hundred yards to talk to somebody.”

He said: “It was always very slow with Sir David but he’s paid the price for being so easily got at unfortunately and I just think it’s dreadful.

“The community have lost a really good MP who cared deeply for them and he’ll be a very, very hard act to follow. To find an MP like Sir David, who didn’t think about ministerial position – he wasn’t interested, he was a community man – I would say he’s irreplaceable," he added.

Amess,a Member of Parliament who represented Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at around midday local time by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district being held in a Methodist Church, a witness at the scene told Reuters. He was treated by emergency services, but died at the scene, police said.

11:01 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

MP David Amess was knighted in 2015 for his political and public service

British Conservative lawmaker David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a constituency meeting east of London.

Amess, 69, who represents Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at around midday by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district being held in a Methodist Church, a witness at the scene told Reuters.

He has been an active lawmaker in UK parliament, sponsoring bills including the Abortion (Amendment) Bill (1996-7), the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act (1988) and the Warm Homes Bill, which passed into law in December 2000 as the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act, according to his website.

He was one of the longest-serving members of parliament, first elected to represent Basildon in 1983. He then stood for election in Southend West in 1997 and was knighted in 2015’s New Year’s Honours List for his political and public service.

Amess supported Brexit ahead of the 2016 EU referendum. His website lists animal welfare and abortion rights as his main interests.

11:42 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

This is the second murder of a sitting British lawmaker in five years

Emergency services are near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on October 15.
Emergency services are near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on October 15. Nick Ansell/PA/AP

The deadly stabbing of Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Sir David Amess is the second murder of a sitting British lawmaker in five years, after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed in her constituency in 2016.

The latest stabbing brings back "the pain, the loss, but also how much love the public gave us," Cox's husband, Brendan Cox, tweeted after Amess's killing.

10:43 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Tributes are pouring in for British lawmaker David Amess

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

British lawmakers and leaders are paying tribute to Sir David Amess after he was stabbed to death on Friday. Amess, 69, was a British Conservative lawmaker and Member of Parliament who represented Southend West in Essex.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's wife Carrie Johnson:

Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn:

Conservative MP Tracey Crouch:

Labour Member of Parliament Zarah Sultana:

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

10:36 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Earlier this week, Amess tweeted about the constituency meeting

Conservative MP Sir David Amess died at a constituency meeting in his Essex district after a man walked in and stabbed him.

Amess tweeted about the meeting on Tuesday, and shared a photo of the Methodist church location. Here's what he said:

10:32 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

What we know about the suspect in David Amess's killing

Conservative MP Sir David Amess died Friday after he was stabbed several times at a constituency meeting in his Essex district.

Essex police said, "a 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered."

A witness at the scene told Reuters that a man walked into the meeting, which was held at a Methodist church, and stabbed him.

Police have not identified the suspect.

10:32 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Here's where the stabbing happened

From CNN's Jo Shelley, Rob Picheta and Amy Woodyatt

British lawmaker Sir David Amess, a Member of Parliament who represented Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at around midday by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district that was being held in a Methodist Church, a witness at the scene told Reuters.

Essex Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea. We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October).

We attended and found a man injured. He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene. A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered. He is currently in custody. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.” 

Here's where the incident took place: