David Amess, 69, who represents Southend West in Essex, was stabbed at around midday at a meeting at a Methodist Church by a man who walked into a meeting with voters from his electoral district, a witness at the scene told Reuters.
Essex Police said in a statement on their website they were “called to reports of a stabbing” in the Leigh-on-Sea area Friday. They said a man had been arrested at the scene and taken into custody. A knife was also recovered from the area.
The Westminster office of Amess confirmed that the Member of Parliament had been stabbed.
“A man’s been arrested following an incident in #LeighonSea,” Essex Police wrote in a tweet. “We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Rd North shortly after 12.05pm. A man was arrested shortly after & we’re not looking for anyone else.”
The incident was met with shock from lawmakers across Britain’s political spectrum. The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, wrote on Twitter: “Horrific and deeply shocking news. Thinking of David, his family and his staff.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan added: “Truly awful news. My thoughts and prayers are with David Amess MP, his family, staff and the community at this incredibly difficult time.”
It comes five years after Jo Cox, a Labour MP, was murdered in her constituency
by a far-right extremist, days before the UK’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union.
That incident stunned the country and led to some calls for lawmakers to receive personal protection when in public.