Sir David Amess: Everything we know so far, as suspect name emerges

Sir David Amess
Sir David Amess

The suspect, held in custody at a London police station, is thought to be called Ali Harbi Ali

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Following the tragic killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, here's what we know to date...

Sir David Amess
Sir David Amess

The Southend West MP was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, at midday on Friday and died at the scene.

Essex Police said the response of the emergency services was immediate and officers arrived at the scene within minutes.

A 25-year-old man was arrested immediately at the scene on suspicion of murder.

Flowers and a ballon are pictured outside the scene where MP David Amess was stabbed during constituency surgery, in Leigh-on-Sea.
Flowers and a ballon are pictured outside the scene where MP David Amess was stabbed during constituency surgery, in Leigh-on-Sea.

Police on Saturday were granted a warrant of further detention, which allows detectives to hold the man until October 22. He is in custody at a London police station.

The suspect is thought to be called Ali Harbi Ali.

Police officers are seen at the scene where MP David Amess was stabbed during constituency surgery, in Leigh-on-Sea
Police officers are seen at the scene where MP David Amess was stabbed during constituency surgery, in Leigh-on-Sea

The man is a British national with Somali heritage.

Metropolitan Police declared the incident an act of terrorism, with early investigations revealing “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.

Police said a knife was recovered.

Southend councillor John Lamb, a friend of Sir David, said the attacker was waiting at the church to see the MP and “drew a knife and stabbed him” when he was called.

As part of the investigation, officers were carrying out searches at three addresses in the London area, Metropolitan Police said. One search has now concluded.

A post-mortem examination took place on Saturday, police said, but its findings have not yet been released.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington, Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrive at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington, Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrive at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle have visited the scene and laid flowers in tribute to Sir David.

Sir Lindsay said there will need to be a discussion in the coming days around MPs’ security and any measures that should be taken.

Ms Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”, and said measures will be put in place “for the security of MPs so that they can carry on with their duties”.

The Union flags above Downing Street have been lowered to half mast after Conservative MP Sir David Amess died.
The Union flags above Downing Street have been lowered to half mast after Conservative MP Sir David Amess died.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said every UK MP will be contacted by Operation Bridger, a nationwide police protective security operation established in 2016, to discuss safety precautions.

Mr Johnson said Sir David was “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics”, while former Conservative prime minister Theresa May said his death was “heartbreaking”, adding: “A tragic day for our democracy.”

Flags were lowered to half-mast outside Parliament following Sir David’s death.