British lawmaker dies after stabbing

By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 6:30 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021
19 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:38 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Here's Essex police's full statement on the killing of David Amess

Police officers work near the scene of the crime on Friday.
Police officers work near the scene of the crime on Friday. (Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images)

Essex Police just confirmed officers arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with the stabbing death of David Amess.

Here's the full statement from police:

“We are now in a position to confirm the man who died in Leigh-on-Sea today was Sir David Amess MP.
We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October) to reports Mr Amess, 69, had been stabbed.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics, sadly, he died at the scene.
A 25 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody.
We have recovered a knife from the scene and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
We are continuing to appeal for anyone who saw anything or has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to come forward.
We want to say thank you to the members of the public who alerted so quickly.
We need anyone who saw anything or has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to contact us.
If you have any information you can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk
12:22 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Essex police confirm arrest of 25-year-old suspect

Essex police says it has arrested a 25-year-old man, recovered a knife from the scene, and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death of David Amess.

"We are continuing to appeal for anyone who saw anything or has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage to come forward," police added in a statement.

"We want to say thank you to the members of the public who alerted so quickly," it added.

12:12 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021

David Amess raised the issue of "senseless" knife murders twice in Parliament in March

From CNN’s Louis Leeson

David Amess, the British lawmaker killed in a knife crime on Friday, had asked a question in Parliament in this March about how to stop “senseless murders” with blades. 

In the House of Commons, Amess addressed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and said:

“Last Friday, my constituent Mr. Luke Bellfield, who was aged just 18, was stabbed to death just a few miles from his family home. This has been horrendous for his family and friends who have been left behind and my heart goes out to them all. What more does my right hon. Friend think that the police, society and Parliament can do to make sure that there never will be such senseless murders again?”

Less than two weeks later, he raised the issue again, saying, “I raised the issue of knife crime in the Chamber earlier this month and was told by the Prime Minister that we have more than 6,000 ‘of our target extra 20,000 police already recruited.’ I hope that Essex police recruit enough police officers to stop any more violent crime.”

1:20 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Knives are the most common murder weapon in England and Wales, agency says

From CNN’s Amy Cassidy 

A sharp object — including a knife — is the most common murder weapon in England and Wales, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. 

In the year ending March 2020, there were 275 homicides by this method, “an increase of 15 offenses (up 6%) compared with the previous year and the second highest annual figure since 1946,” according to the February 2021 report. 

More than one-third (40%) of the 600 homicides in the year to March 2021 were by knife or other sharp instrument, the ONS reported.

“Since the year ending March 2007, the proportion of homicide offenses committed by a sharp instrument has fluctuated between 35% and 40%,” it added.

At least 238 people were killed in England and Wales with a knife or another sharp instrument in the year ending March 2021, down from 250 in the 12 months before that, the ONS reported in July. 

That fall included several periods of coronavirus-related lockdown, the statistics agency noted. 

More than one-third (40%) of the 600 homicides in the year to March 2021 were by knife or other sharp instrument, the ONS reported.

11:38 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Local priest says Amess was "one of the greatest guys" he's ever worked with

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Rev. Jeff Woolnough, a priest at St. Peter's Parish in Leigh-on-Sea, said he feels "totally numb" following British lawmaker David Amess' death after being stabbed at a constituency meeting.

"He has supported all of the Catholic clergy in our area for many, many years. Not just us of the denominations but people of all religions. He has been a great, great friend and is an old-school parliamentarian. ... He actually listens to people, sits down with them and he's paid the price for it today. He's paid the price for being that open and generous with his time," Woolnough said in an interview with CNN.

Woolnough said Amess was a practicing Catholic and called him "generous, good-humored, caring, passionate about people."

"He's totally unique. One of the greatest guys, seriously, that I've ever worked with, and I mean that," he said.

Woolnough's parish will have a mass at 6 p.m. local time, he said.

"We will have silence because we need to be quiet now. We just need to reflect on this terrible thing and pray for Julie, his wife, and his family, and for all members of Parliament," Woolnough said.

11:31 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Amess was not a man "who voiced extremist opinions," CNN reporter says

British lawmaker Sir David Amess, who died after he was stabbed on Friday, was "not a man who voiced extremist opinions," CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports.

"He was an instantly recognizable face from the Conservative party — very centrist. His opinions were about honoring the Queen. He was a prominent Catholic, pro animal rights," Walsh said, adding that Amess also went against the availability of abortion to some degree.

The incident marks the second murder of a sitting British lawmaker in five years, after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed in her constituency in 2016.

11:38 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

David Amess said he "regularly" checked his locks after the murder of Jo Cox

Police forensics officers work at the scene of a stabbing at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on October 15.
Police forensics officers work at the scene of a stabbing at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on October 15. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Conservative MP Sir David Amess died Friday after he was stabbed several times at a constituency meeting in his Essex district.

Amess's stabbing is the second murder of a sitting British lawmaker in five years, after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed in her constituency in 2016.

In a book he wrote last year about being a Member of Parliament, Amess said that Cox's murder was "totally unexpected" and that the event had changed the way MPs interact with members of the public, particularly in relation to constituency surgeries.

"These increasing attacks have rather spoilt the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians," he wrote in "Ayes & Ears."

"I myself have over the years experienced nuisance from the odd member of the general public at my own property. We regularly check our locks," Amess added.
12:01 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Former UK prime ministers remember David Amass: "He was the most committed MP"

At least two former UK prime ministers have reacted to news of Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) David Amess's killing Friday.

David Cameron, who served as prime minister from 2010 until 2016, called the news "devastating, horrific & tragic."

"He was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet," Cameron said.

Gordon Brown, who served as prime minister before Cameron from 2007 until 2010, offered his condolences to Amass's friends and family.

Theresa May, who served as prime minister from 2016 until 2019, called the stabbing "heartbreaking" and described Amess as a "decent man and respected Parliamentarian."

Former prime minister Tony Blair, who served in the role from 1997 to 2007, said he was “shocked and horrified” by the murder of Amess.

“David and I came into Parliament together in 1983,” he said in a statement.

“Though on opposite political sides I always found him a courteous, decent and thoroughly likeable colleague who was respected across the House," he said.

“This is a terrible and sad day for our democracy," he added.

11:18 a.m. ET, October 15, 2021

Local Conservative councillor calls David Amess "irreplaceable"

David Garston, a local Conservative councillor of Southend West in Essex, said Sir David Amess was an “irreplaceable” constituency MP whose approachability left him “vulnerable.”

“He was probably one of the best constituency MPs in the country, and because he was so accessible and because he was everywhere, he obviously left himself vulnerable and didn’t think twice about it,” Mr. Garston told the PA news agency.

The councillor said that when Sir David came to his ward, “you couldn’t get very far because he’d stop every hundred yards to talk to somebody.”

He said: “It was always very slow with Sir David but he’s paid the price for being so easily got at unfortunately and I just think it’s dreadful.

“The community have lost a really good MP who cared deeply for them and he’ll be a very, very hard act to follow. To find an MP like Sir David, who didn’t think about ministerial position – he wasn’t interested, he was a community man – I would say he’s irreplaceable," he added.

Amess,a Member of Parliament who represented Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at around midday local time by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district being held in a Methodist Church, a witness at the scene told Reuters. He was treated by emergency services, but died at the scene, police said.