An investigation into the death of MP Sir David Amess is being led by counter-terrorism officers.
Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a meeting with constituents.
The suspect, a 25-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the veteran MP was stabbed several times during a constituency surgery in Essex.
The force has confirmed a knife was recovered from the scene and they are not looking for anybody else in connection to the incident.
Chief Constable of Essex Police Ben-Julian Harrington said: “At just after midday today, Essex Police were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea.
“The response of the emergency services to this incident was immediate and our officers arrived on scene within minutes.
“When they arrived they found Sir David Amess MP, who had suffered multiple injuries. “This was a difficult incident, but our officers and paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service worked extremely hard to save Sir David.
“Tragically he died at the scene. A 25-year-old man was arrested immediately at the scene on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.
“A knife was also recovered at the scene.
“The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counter-terrorism command.
” The 69-year-old victim, who has been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex midday on Friday.
The father-of-five is the second sitting MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.
Witness Anthony Finch described seeing someone being taken out of the building and put into the back of a police car.
He told Sky News: “We arrived to do some work on the adjacent building… and at the point when I was crossing the road I saw an upset lady on the phone saying ‘you need to arrive quickly, he’s still in the building’.
“There were loads of armed police, overhead there was an air ambulance as well as a police helicopter. Obviously wondered what the hell was going on, you don’t often see armed police around the local area.
“I saw the suspect get put into a police van, get taken away and then they cordoned the whole road and pushed us all down the road.
“What we then heard was that it was David Amess.
“It’s very odd and it’s very distressing, that’s for sure.”
Aerial footage showed multiple police officers outside the church and an air ambulance at the scene.
A large cordon extended down Eastwood Road, with members of the public gathering behind it, and multiple side streets closed off.
Flags have been lowered to half-mast outside Parliament following Sir David’s death.
Boris Johnson held a press conference on Friday, October 15 and said he was “full of shock and sadness”.
He said he was killed in his constituency surgery, after “almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom”.
He added: “I think all our hearts are full of shock and sadness today at the loss of Sir David Amess MP, who was killed in his constituency surgery in a church after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom.
“And the reason I think people are so shocked and saddened is above all he was one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics, and he also had an outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable, whether the people who are suffering from endometriosis, passing laws to end cruelty to animals, or doing a huge amount to reduce the fuel poverty suffered by people up and down the country.
“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future.
“And we’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague, and our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children, and his family.
When asked about whether the death of Sir David Amess, which comes only five years after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, highlights a problem with the security protection of MPs, Boris Johnson said: “I think what we need to do now is let the police get on with the investigation.
“I am sure that all those issues will be considered in the proper time but I think this is a moment for us to think of Sir David, his wife, his family and our thoughts are very much with them.”
Thomas Mair shot and stabbed the MP as she made her way to a constituency surgery at the local library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on 16 June 2016, a week before the EU referendum.
He told the two police officers who arrested him that he was a “political activist”.
A search of the 52-year-old’s house revealed far-right and neo-Nazi interests. But once in custody, he gave police nothing more.
“We’re asking you why you’ve done it,” an officer asked. “Jo Cox’s family want to know why she’s dead.” Mair sat, arms folded, defiant.
When asked to give his name at the magistrates’ hearing two days after the murder, Mair replied “death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.
But at the Old Bailey trial five months later, he resumed his silence, leaving a plea of “not guilty” to be entered on his behalf.
Jo Cox was the first female MP to be murdered in Britain, the first MP killed since Ian Gow was murdered by the IRA in 1990, but all we knew of Mair’s motivation were the slogans he shouted as he carried out his attack.
Witnesses variously heard: “This is for Britain” or “Britain first” and even “Make Britain independent”. So after he was found guilty on 23 November, there was a stir in the press seats when the defence counsel requested that Mair be allowed to make a statement prior to sentencing.
But Mr Justice Wilkie, presiding, was in no mood to risk a political outburst and further distress the victim’s family. Mair was taken from the court in silence.