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Sir David Amess’ killer calmly sat down and waited for cops to arrive after stabbing MP up to 17 times

THE killer of MP Sir David Amess waited calmly at a constituency surgery in a church before launching his knife attack — then sat down and waited for cops.

Two female staff watched in horror as the maniac walked up to the 69-year-old Tory then pulled out a blade.

He is said to have stabbed the married dad of five up to 17 times — without saying a word — at 12.05pm.

The two women ran out and tried to raise the alarm.

Police who raced to the scene recovered a knife before bundling the suspect, a 25-year-old British national of Somali origin, into the back of a van and driving him away.

Detectives and MI5 were last night trying to establish if he was inspired by Islamic terrorism.

An air ambulance landed in a field near Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Medics tried to revive Southend West MP Sir David but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shocked friends and colleagues said it was a planned attack.

Councillor Daniel Nelson told The Sun: “We know he stabbed David and waited for the police. It was completely premeditated. He knew he was going to do it.

“I’m heartbroken. He was a champion of Southend. He always remembered the details of people’s lives. 

“It’s a galling attack. He was loved across the whole town.”

John Lamb, councillor for neighbouring West Leigh, told The Sun that the two heroic staff — including PA Julie Cushion — were heartbroken.

Mr Lamb said: “They are devastated. I’ve no idea of the motive. He had no known enemies. I’m told the man was waiting calmly to be seen. It’s horrendous. So awful.”

Sir David is the second MP to be murdered in five years — following Labour’s Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox — raising further concerns about ­security for politicians.

Earlier this year, he had called for tough action on knife crime following the murder of a young constituent.

Six weeks ago Sir David and wife Julia were pictured smiling proudly at the wedding of one of their four daughters, Alexandra.

Another daughter Katie, 36, is an actress who had a small role in Captain America: Civil War. The other children are Sarah, Flo and David Jnr.

Mr Lamb, a pal of 30 years, added: “He’s a family man, always trying to help people and especially refugees. He’s a very amicable person. 

“He says what he believes and sticks by his guns.”

Shocked locals became aware of the attack when armed police swamped the scene. Butcher Lee Jordison, 40, said: “We could see a cordon set up.

“Someone outside told me a woman had come out screaming down the phone, ‘Someone’s been stabbed, please get here soon. He’s not breathing.’

“There was a lot of talk at the church that it was (Sir David) and plenty of people had seen him outside saying hello 20 minutes before. It’s very shocking. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Anthony Finch added: “We arrived to do some work on the adjacent building. When I was crossing the road I saw an upset lady on the phone saying ‘You need to arrive quickly, he’s still in the building.’

“I saw the suspect get put into a police van, get taken away and then they cordoned the whole road and pushed us all down the road.

“What we then heard was that it was David Amess. Apparently he was stabbed quite a few times. It’s very hard, very distressing. He is a good friend of my wife’s father.”

A devout Catholic, Sir David had been an MP for 38 years, first in Basildon from 1983 before taking up his current seat in 1997.

 He was an ardent Brexiteer, a pro-life and animal rights supporter and had campaigned for Southend to be given city status.

He had also opposed bills furthering LGBT rights, including equal age of consent and same-sex marriage.

Commons deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Laing tweeted yesterday: “All elected representatives must be able to go about their work without the fear of physical or verbal attacks. What has happened to Sir David Amess in Essex today is unforgivable.”

Last night armed cops remained outside the church.

 Police appealed for any witnesses with video or dashcam footage to come forward. The force said: “We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. 

“We want to thank the public who alerted us so quickly.”

The local community, including children, also gathered to pay their respects. Rev Clifford Newman said: “There is no justification for this at all, and there never can be.”

Essex Police say investigation ongoing as to whether the killing of MP Sir David Amess was terror-related