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Sir David Amess latest news – Ali Harbi Ali named as suspect as police search three properties in London

THE MAN suspected of fatally stabbing Conservative MP Sir David Amess at a church in Essex in a suspected terrorist incident.

The man being held was last night named as Ali Harbi Ali. Witnesses said he appeared “dead behind the eyes” after the attack.

The killer of Sir David travelled 50 miles by train to murder him - and apparently had told the MP's staff that he had recently moved to the area.

Security sources told The Mail on Sunday Ali planned his murderous attack more than a week in advance.

Yesterday he was being held at a police station in London. Officers can quiz him until October 22. Sources said he lives in North London but had family ties to Southend, close to Leigh-on-Sea. Three addresses in the capital were being searched.

Read our David Amess live blog for the latest updates

  • All four surviving PMs pay tribute

    All four surviving former prime ministers also paid tribute to the long-serving MP.

    Theresa May said his death was “heartbreaking” and “a tragic day for our democracy”, adding: “A decent man and respected Parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties.”

    David Cameron said it Sir David was “the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet”, and said: “David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man. Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today.”

    Tony Blair, who also became an MP for the first time in the 1983 election, said he was “horrified” by the attack, commenting: “Though on opposite political sides I always found him a courteous, decent and thoroughly likeable colleague who was respected across the House.”

    Sir John Major said: “This is truly heartbreaking news of a good and decent man who – for over 30 years – was a dedicated public servant. My heart goes out to his family.”

  • Priti Patel says MPs will not be ‘cowed’

    The Home Secretary has said politicians will not be “cowed” following the fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess, which police believe may be linked to Islamist extremism.

    Priti Patel visited the scene at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday morning alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to pay their respects to Sir David, less than 24 hours after he was killed at a constituency surgery.

    Ms Patel said security measures were being put in place to protect MPs but vowed they will carry on serving the country unimpeded in the face of the attack, which the Metropolitan Police have declared was a terrorist incident.

    Speaking at Southend Police Station, the Home Secretary said: “We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected democracy.”

    Asked whether there could be a balance between the safety of MPs and the democratic process, she said: “It can be balanced, it can absolutely be balanced.”

  • Sir Amess tribute to be added to Dame Vera Lynn statue

    The daughter of Dame Vera Lynn has said she will include a tribute to Sir David Amess in a memorial to her mother that the Tory MP campaigned for.

    Virginia Lewis-Jones, a family friend of Sir David, said she will add a tribute to the statue of her mother once it is created.

    The Southend West MP supported and helped launch the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Appeal, a campaign working to have a statue erected in honour of the forces’ sweetheart after her death.

    The statue is expected to cost around £1.5 million which has not yet been raised, but renewed efforts are being made to publicise the campaign and to now honour Sir David.

    The statue will be designed and created by sculpture Paul Day and will be situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, the subject of one of Dame Vera’s most famous songs.

    Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ms Lewis-Jones said: “I think in some way, David should also be remembered in the memorial for what he has done to this point and hopefully in spirit will continue to do.

    “We’ve got to continue, not only for my mother but also for David for what he began and for what we will continue to do because it’s half his memorial as well.”

  • Suspect named

    THE man arrested for the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess has been named as Ali Harbi Ali.

    The 25-year-old, who is a British national with Somali heritage, is not thought to have been previously known to the security services.

    However, the investigation is still in its early stages and that could change if new details emerge.

    The suspect was arrested on Friday at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where the MP for Southend West had been meeting constituents.

    Sources confirmed his name to the Sun last night.

  • Tory MP says members will now be ‘wary’ following Sir David death

    Conservative MP Bob Blackman said MPs will now be “wary” of what they do in light of Sir David Amess’s death.

    He told the PA news agency: “I’ve had demonstrations that were outside my office from various different groups at different times, which is quite scary, particularly for staff.

    “I think it’s like everything else, you’ve just got to be wary of what you do now, because, unfortunately, we don’t know what else is going to happen.”

  • Priti Patel to face questions over suspect

    The Home Secretary will face questions concerning what was known about a suspect held on suspicion of murdering MP Sir David Amess as police were granted extra time to question him.

    During Sunday morning broadcast interviews, Priti Patel is likely to be pressed over whether the 25-year-old man was known to the Government's anti-terrorist programme prior to the fatal stabbing of Sir David on Friday.

    Media reports said the suspect has the same details as a man previously referred to Prevent, however, there has been no official confirmation of whether this is the case.

    Sir David, 69, who had been an MP since 1983, was meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday afternoon when he was stabbed multiple times in a frenzied attack.

    The MP spoke to PR professional Richard Hillgrove to discuss the Children's Parliament, an event where youngsters are matched with MPs, soon before the attack, the Sunday Times reported.

  • Action vowed to keep MPs safe

    The Home Secretary has said security measures will be put in place to ensure MPs can continue to meet constituents safely following the murder of Conservative politician Sir David Amess.

    A former minister called for face-to-face meetings to be suspended pending a security review after long-serving MP Sir David was fatally stabbed on Friday while meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend.

    But Priti Patel said it is possible to strike a balance between the safety of MPs and carrying out the democratic process in-person, as she urged elected representatives not to be “cowed” by those threatening to “stop us from functioning”.

    Ms Patel, who laid flowers at the site of Sir David’s killing alongside the Prime Minister, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle on Saturday morning, told broadcasters: “We are open to surgeries, doing our job. We will continue to do that.

    “That is why there are measures under way right now – I convened meetings yesterday, I’ve been with the Speaker of the House, and with the police and our security services to make sure that all measures are being put in place for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties as elected democratic members.”

  • MPs remain defiant after David Amess murder

    MPs struck a defiant tone as they held constituency surgeries as normal less than 24 hours after the death of Sir David Amess.

    Sir David was killed while meeting constituents in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday, five and a half years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist.

    Some MPs on Saturday were calling for a review of safety procedures before resuming meetings with constituents.

    But Alec Shelbrooke held a surgery at a local supermarket, and said he would continue to do so even if he had to “add a few more precautions”.

    The Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell tweeted: “We cannot let events like this diminish the deep relationship between an MP and their constituents.

    “This is a relationship I value deeply: I want my constituents, regardless of whether they voted for me or not, to be able to approach me in the street, in the pub, at the supermarket or at one of my surgeries.

    “I love that my constituents feel they can approach me in this way and the ability to do so is a foundation of British democracy.”

  • Tory MP says members will now be ‘wary’ following Sir David death

    Conservative MP Bob Blackman said MPs will now be “wary” of what they do in light of Sir David Amess’s death.

    He said: “I’ve had demonstrations that were outside my office from various different groups at different times, which is quite scary, particularly for staff.

    “I think it’s like everything else, you’ve just got to be wary of what you do now, because, unfortunately, we don’t know what else is going to happen.”

  • ‘Killer’ named

    THE man arrested for the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess has been named as Ali Harbi Ali.

    The 25-year-old, who is a British national with Somali heritage, is not thought to have been previously known to the security services.

    However, the investigation is still in its early stages and that could change if new details emerge.

    The suspect was arrested on Friday at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where the MP for Southend West had been meeting constituents.

    Sources confirmed his name to the Sun this evening.

  • Labour & Lib Dems to stand down in by-election

    Labour and the Liberal Democrats will not stand candidates in the by-election contest to find a successor to murdered Conservative MP Sir David Amess.

    It comes after a Labour peer and former minister urged major opposition parties to honour past precedent by refusing to battle for the Southend West seat following the fatal stabbing of the Tory incumbent.

    PA news agency reported that Labour is set to follow the principle established after Jo Cox’s murder in 2016 when parties which held Commons seats declined to select candidates in the subsequent Batley and Spen by-election, which was won by Tracey Brabin.

    As a result of that move five years ago, it is understood Labour will refuse to contest the by-election in which voters will be asked to elect Sir David’s replacement after his tragic death on Friday.

    A Liberal Democrat spokesman confirmed that the party will not fight for the seat either when a polling date is set.

  • David’s family ‘can’t believe this happened’

    THE devastated cousins of tragic MP Sir David Amess have laid flowers outside the Essex church where he was yesterday murdered.

    The politician was meeting constituents when he was brutally knifed by a man who had quietly waited for an appointment.

    While his wife Julia and five children grieve privately today, a bouquet signed from family has been placed at the scene.

    The moving note reads: “RIP David. Thinking of your lovely family.

    “Can’t believe this has actually happened.

    “We will always love you.”

  • Met Police Counter Terrorism Command leading investigation

    The investigation is being led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command who are working with the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit (ERSOU) and Essex Police, the Metropolitan Police said.

    It said formal identification is yet to take place, but the victim has been identified as Sir David Amess and specialist officers are supporting his family.

    Witnesses, or anyone with information about the incident are urged to contact police.

  • Priti Patel says MPs will not be ‘cowed’

    The Home Secretary has said politicians will not be “cowed” following the fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess, which police believe may be linked to Islamist extremism.

    Priti Patel visited the scene at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday morning alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to pay their respects to Sir David, less than 24 hours after he was killed at a constituency surgery.

    Ms Patel said security measures were being put in place to protect MPs but vowed they will carry on serving the country unimpeded in the face of the attack, which the Metropolitan Police have declared was a terrorist incident.

    Speaking at Southend Police Station, the Home Secretary said: “We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected democracy.”

    Asked whether there could be a balance between the safety of MPs and the democratic process, she said: “It can be balanced, it can absolutely be balanced.”

  • Sir Amess tribute to be added to Dame Vera Lynn statue

    The daughter of Dame Vera Lynn has said she will include a tribute to Sir David Amess in a memorial to her mother that the Tory MP campaigned for.

    Virginia Lewis-Jones, a family friend of Sir David, said she will add a tribute to the statue of her mother once it is created.

    The Southend West MP supported and helped launch the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Appeal, a campaign working to have a statue erected in honour of the forces’ sweetheart after her death.

    The statue is expected to cost around £1.5 million which has not yet been raised, but renewed efforts are being made to publicise the campaign and to now honour Sir David.

    The statue will be designed and created by sculpture Paul Day and will be situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, the subject of one of Dame Vera’s most famous songs.

    Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ms Lewis-Jones said: “I think in some way, David should also be remembered in the memorial for what he has done to this point and hopefully in spirit will continue to do.

    “We’ve got to continue, not only for my mother but also for David for what he began and for what we will continue to do because it’s half his memorial as well.”

  • My daughter loved him’

    A steady stream of people laid flowers near the police cordon outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, where MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death.

    Local resident Samantha Macdonald, 44, tearfully recalled meeting Sir David when he came to her school when she was 12.

    She told the PA news agency: “He was always so involved with the community, so accessible as well – prided himself on being accessible.

    “He knew every head teacher’s name of every school in his constituency. My 13-year-old daughter absolutely loved him.”

  • Priti Patel visited Southend police station

    Home Secretary Priti Patel, speaking at Southend police station yesterday, said: “We’re all struggling to come to terms with the fact that David Amess has been so cruelly taken away from all of us.

    “Less than 24 hours ago David was in his own constituency doing a local advice surgery, which is something that all MPs do week in, week out.

    “And of course David, as I knew him and as we all knew him, was just a passionate advocate and a champion for Southend, this wonderful, wonderful town.

    “He was a man of the people, he was absolutely there for everyone, he was a much loved parliamentarian, to me he was a dear and loyal friend, but also he was a devoted husband and father and we think of Julia and their children at this really sad time, they’re in our thoughts and our prayers.”

  • Terror probe

    Sources told The Guardian the suspect arrested had the same details as someone previously referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent.

    John Lamb, councillor for neighbouring West Leigh, said Sir David was with two female members of staff – one from his constituency office and one from his parliamentary office – when a man “literally got a knife out and just began stabbing him”.

    Mr Lamb told The Sun that the two heroic staff — including PA Julie Cushion — were heartbroken.

    He 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.”

  • Warrant of further detention granted for arrested man

    A warrant of further detention has been granted for the 25-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the murder of MP David Amess, police said on Saturday.

    A knife used in the attack, which has been declared a terrorist incident, was recovered at the scene, the police said.

  • Labour & Lib Dems to stand down in by election

    Labour and the Liberal Democrats will not stand candidates in the by-election contest to find a successor to murdered Conservative MP Sir David Amess.

    It comes after a Labour peer and former minister urged major opposition parties to honour past precedent by refusing to battle for the Southend West seat following the fatal stabbing of the Tory incumbent.

    PA news agency understands that Labour is set to follow the principle established after Jo Cox’s murder in 2016 when parties which held Commons seats declined to select candidates in the subsequent Batley and Spen by-election, which was won by Tracey Brabin.

    As a result of that move five years ago, it is understood Labour will refuse to contest the by-election in which voters will be asked to elect Sir David’s replacement after his tragic death on Friday.

    A Liberal Democrat spokesman confirmed to PA that the party will not fight for the seat either when a polling date is set.

  • David’s family ‘can’t believe this happened’

    THE devastated cousins of tragic MP Sir David Amess have laid flowers outside the Essex church where he was yesterday murdered.

    The politician was meeting constituents when he was brutally knifed by a man who had quietly waited for an appointment.

    While his wife Julia and five children grieve privately today, a bouquet signed from family has been placed at the scene.

    The moving note reads: “RIP David. Thinking of your lovely family.

    “Can’t believe this has actually happened.

    “We will always love you.”

  • Patel: MPs won't be 'cowed' by killing of Sir David Amess

    The Home Secretary has said politicians will not be "cowed" following the fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess, which police believe may be linked to Islamist extremism.

    Priti Patel visited the scene at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday morning alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to pay their respects to Sir David, less than 24 hours after he was killed at a constituency surgery.

    Ms Patel said security measures were being put in place to protect MPs but vowed they will carry on serving the country unimpeded in the face of the attack, which the Metropolitan Police have declared was a terrorist incident.

    Speaking at Southend Police Station, the Home Secretary said: "We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation... to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected democracy."

  • Candlelit vigil held in honour of Sir David

    Hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil in memory of MP Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death while meeting constituents.

    Crowds carrying lanterns and candles gathered in darkness at Belfairs sports ground in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on Saturday to honour Sir David, who was killed the day before.

    The field is where an air ambulance had landed on Friday, as paramedics tried in vain to save the father-of-five at the nearby Belfairs Methodist Church.

    At the vigil, Southend councillor Alan Dear addressed those gathered in a circle around dozens of glowing candles on the grass.

    "For me, and I know for all of you because you're here, it's been a terrible 24 hours for all of us," he said.

    He went on: "For me, (Sir David) was a good friend, and I know he was a good friend to all of you here.

    "He spent 40 years of his life caring for the constituents of Basildon and Southend. He was a very kind, loving, gentle man. A gentleman and a gentle man.

    "He's a person I will never forget. He's always been available. If you ever needed help he was there. I know he's helped many of you here this evening."

  • Warrant of further detention granted for arrested man

    A warrant of further detention has been granted for the 25-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the murder of UK MP David Amess police said on Sa,turday.

    A knife used in the attack, which has been declared a terrorist incident, was recovered at the scene, the police said.

  • Tory MP says members will now be ‘wary’ following Sir David death

    Conservative MP Bob Blackman said MPs will now be “wary” of what they do in light of Sir David Amess’s death.

    He told the PA news agency: “I’ve had demonstrations that were outside my office from various different groups at different times, which is quite scary, particularly for staff.

    “I think it’s like everything else, you’ve just got to be wary of what you do now, because, unfortunately, we don’t know what else is going to happen.”