British Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid flowers on Saturday outside the church where a Tory MP was fatally stabbed in what police said was a terrorist attack likely linked to Islamist extremism.
David Amess (69) was stabbed multiple times around noon on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, east London, during a meeting with voters.
The attack was declared a terrorist incident, UK Metropolitan Police confirmed. Police arrested a Briton (25) at the scene on suspicion of murder, adding that he believed he had acted alone.
Mr Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Labor Party leader Keir Starmer were among those who laid flowers in tribute to Mr Amess at the scene of the murder.
“In memory of Sir David Amess MP, an excellent parliamentarian and a dear colleague and friend,” Mr Johnson said in a handwritten note placed in the flowers, adding in a Twitter message that his thoughts were with the family by M. Amess. and friends.
Mr Johnson and Mr Starmer stood side by side in a moment of silence before leaving. Other politicians, police officials and members of the public came to lay flowers and pay their respects.
Mr Amess, who had been an MP since 1983, was assaulted at noon on Friday while meeting with voters at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend.
The preliminary investigation revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” police said.
Official sources said the arrested man, who is being held at an Essex police station, is believed to be a British national of Somali descent.
Police are looking for two addresses in the London area.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has called on all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect” after the attack.
The Daily Telegraph said the review would examine Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protection and security operation established in 2016 after several threats against MPs following parliamentary debates on Syria.
Ms Patel will make a statement to parliament on the review on Monday, the Times reported.
Essex Police Chief Ben-Julian Harrington said Mr Amess was “just performing his duties when his life was horribly cut short”.
Veteran Tory Mr Amess, who has been described by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “one of the nicest, kindest and sweetest people in politics”, had been an MP since 1983 and was married and father of five children.
The attack on Mr Amess came just five and a half years after Labor MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist in her constituency of Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire.
Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said police are contacting all MPs to check their safety in the wake of Mr Amess’ murder.
“It’s about doing the right things by working with police forces across the UK, because it’s about joining in,” Mr Hoyle told BBC2’s Newsnight.
“I know they are reaching out to all MPs to check their safety, to reassure them, because at the end of the day we have to make sure it’s a priority.”
He added: “These people who do not share our values or democracy, they will not win and we will not let them win. We will continue to review security, it is ongoing and will continue. “
Mr Hoyle said earlier that while it was fair that security was reviewed following the latest incident, it was important to avoid “rush” reactions. – Reuters, PA