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UK premier pays tribute to MP stabbed to death


The British prime minister on Saturday morning paid tribute to Sir David Amess, a lawmaker who was killed in a stabbing attack on Friday.

Boris Johnson, along with leader of the main opposition Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer, Home Secretary Priti Patel, and House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, laid flowers at the scene of the attack at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

All four politicians walked to the church’s entrance to pay their respects individually, before being escorted back to their vehicles by police.

Amess, 69, was stabbed to death on Friday. He had been an MP since 1983.

The police arrested a 25-year-old man at the scene of the attack on suspicion of the murder. He is still in custody at Essex police station, and the police are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Police said early investigations revealed a “potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.

The Met also carried out two searches at addresses in London.

Patel on Friday said she had asked police forces to review their security arrangement for MPs.

Amess’ death has triggered concerns and a debate among MPs about their safety as well as their accessibility to the public.

Patel said: "We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation – people with motives who stop us from functioning to serve our elected democracy – so on that basis, we have measures in place.

"We will continue to review and strengthen the measures and rightly so. The Speaker and I will continue to support MPs, policing will continue to support MPs – that work is underway.

"And we will continue to absolutely stand by the principles that we are elected by to serve our constituents in the open way in which we have been doing so, but also recognizing that there are safety and protection measures that we have to undertake too."

Her comments came as another senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Defence Select Committee, tweeted on Saturday: "MP engagement with the public: This is a vital part of our work – our accessibility with the public.

"But understandable huge anxiety amongst MPs now. Until the home secretary's review of MP security is complete I would recommend a temporary PAUSE in face-to-face meetings."

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