Labour and the Liberal Democrats will not stand by-election candidates after the murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, according to reports tonight.

The development came as the man being held in custody on suspicion of the 69-year-old's murder was named in reports tonight as Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali heritage.

Detectives have been granted a warrant of further detention at Westminster Magistrates’ Court which allows them to hold a man on suspicion of the murder of MP Sir David Amess until October 22, Scotland Yard said tonight.

It's understood the Labour Party is set to follow the by-election principle established after the horrific murder of Jo Cox in 2016.


Then, the major parties declined to select candidates in the subsequent Batley and Spen by-election.

As a result, it's reported Labour will not contest the by-election to find a successor to Sir David in his Southend West constituency.

The Liberal Democrats have also confirmed they will not fight for the seat when a date is set.

A candlelit vigil was held tonight in his memory

The news follows calls from a Labour peer for all major opposition parties to stand aside out of respect for Sir David after he was murdered serving his constituents.

Former minister Lord Pendry said a decision not to contest the seat should be taken to 'honour' the Conservative politician.

"This is an occasion when you see the leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer) and the Prime Minister together, and it shows that our democracy transcends all that sort of thing," he told the Press Association.

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"I think we should be saying that whoever the Conservatives put up, it is their seat because they were deprived of it, so they should have it back.

"I think all the major parties should stand aside in the interest of democracy and our own democratic way of life."

Tributes at the scene

A sea of flowers has been placed near the police cordon outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where Sir David was stabbed to death on Friday.

He was killed while meeting constituents - five-and-a-half years after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist.

Sir David, who had been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured in a constituency surgery on Friday.

A 25-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder remained in custody at an Essex police station on Saturday night.

A National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman said every UK MP will be contacted by Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protective security operation established in 2016, to discuss their security arrangements following the death of Sir David.

Sir Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson lay flowers

The spokesman said: "In light of yesterday's tragic attack, every MP will be contacted individually by Op Bridger representatives in their local force to discuss their security arrangements, and to ensure they are aware of all advice pertaining to their personal safety and security.

"They will also speak to MPs about security arrangements for any events they are planning to attend in the coming days, so the appropriate advice can be provided.

"We encourage MPs to immediately report any security concerns to their local police force in order to keep themselves, their staff and members of the public attending surgeries safe. Funding is available through the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority for security needs based on threat assessments made by police."

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