A 25-year-old man accused of stabbing Conservative MP Sir David Amess to death inside a church hall has been named as Ali Harbi Ali.

Govenment sources have reportedly confirmed to Sky News that Ali was detained by officers from Essex Police moments after Sir David suffered numerous stab wounds in the horrific incident.

The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner also revealed that sources in Whitehall had confirmed the name.

It is believed Ali waited at the scene for armed officers to arrive. He remains in custody as of Saturday evening.

Investigators from Essex Police revealed a knife was also recovered nearby before confirming counter-terrorism officers from the Metropolitan Police were now leading the investigation.

The detained man was previously known to the government's Prevent scheme, which is a programme to stop radical terrorism, a Whitehall source claimed on Saturday night.

Armed police swarmed the scene in the wake of the incident
Armed police swarmed the scene in the wake of the incident

Sixty-nine-year-old politician and dad-of-five Amess, who represented Southend West in Essex, was holding a surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when an attacker allegedly stormed in and stabbed him 'multiple times'.

Emergency services including armed police and an air ambulance were scrambled to the scene in a bid to save his life, but Sir David tragically died of his injuries inside the church hall.

Sir David Amess had been a prominent Tory MP for many years

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, added: “This is a shocking and utterly despicable attack against somebody who was an outstanding MP and has worked tirelessly for their community for many, many years.

"My prayers are with Sir David’s family at this incredibly difficult time. I also want to acknowledge the officers who attended the event for their bravery and courage.

The event at the church hall had been a constituency surgery the MP had advertised online himself
The event at the church hall had been a constituency surgery the MP had advertised online himself

“It is vital that we give the police all our support to ensure that they can do their job at this time. For anybody who has information please do not hesitate to contact the police.”

The Jo Cox Foundation, the charity set up in memory of the MP who was murdered in 2016, said it was "horrified" by reports of the stabbing.