David Amess
David Amess, UK lawmaker, dies after being stabbed
02:00 - Source: CNN
Leigh-on-Sea, England CNN  — 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer visited the church Saturday where lawmaker David Amess was fatally stabbed while meeting with constituents, hours after his killing was declared a terrorist incident.

The murder has shocked the nation and prompted calls for a review of security measures for lawmakers carrying out constituency work.

Amess, 69 and a member of Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, died after being stabbed several times at around midday Friday at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England.

The man being held for Amess’ murder has been named as Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British national of Somali heritage, a Whitehall source told CNN Saturday. He is believed to have acted alone.

“The early investigation has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement overnight. Two addresses in the London area are being searched, the force said.

The man arrested is believed to be a British national with Somali heritage, official sources have told UK news agency PA Media. The UK’s Counter Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the killing, police said Friday.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right), Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (center) and senior police officer Ben-Julian Harrington carry floral tributes to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday.

A somber-looking Johnson carried a wreath of pale roses Saturday morning to leave in front of the church where Amess was attacked.

He and Starmer were accompanied by Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose government department is responsible for policing and counter-terrorism efforts in the UK. Chief Constable of Essex Police Ben-Julian Harrington and Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle also carried flowers to the scene.

Speaking shortly afterward, Patel paid tribute to Amess as “a man of the people” and passionate advocate for the people he represented.