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Murder of UK MP was terrorist act, police say – POLITICO

British counterterrorism officers are investigating the death of Tory MP David Amess, who was stabbed multiple times during his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, east London, on Friday.

The Metropolitan Police officially declared on Saturday that the incident was terrorism and said initial investigations had revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”.

A 25-year-old Briton was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and is in custody, according to the police statement.

As part of the investigation, agents are conducting searches at two addresses in the London area. Police say the suspect, who is believed to be of Somali origin, acted alone.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer travel to Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on Saturday to pay their respects, the BBC reported.

Amess, a 69-year-old longtime representative, was holding a meeting with voters at a church on Friday when he was assaulted. Such so-called surgeries are common in Britain and see MPs opening their doors to hear public concerns. Usually, they are only accompanied by their office staff.

According to the local newspaper Southend Echo, a man ran into the church at noon and stabbed Amess “several times”. Amess received emergency medical attention but died at the scene.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has ordered a safety review of UK lawmakers in the wake of the stabbings, which follow further attacks on politicians. In 2016, Labor MP Jo Cox was assassinated by a far-right extremist during the Brexit campaign.

Some fear that MPs will be forced to restrict their contact with the public. MP Tobias Ellwood recommended “a temporary break” from face-to-face meetings during the security review.

“It’s a vital part of our job – our accessibility with the public. But a huge understandable anxiety among the deputies now ”, he wrote on Twitter.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Ellwood added that there were alternatives to face-to-face meetings. “You can switch to Zoom, there are other ways, you can actually do a lot of things over the phone, you can get things done a lot faster than having to wait for the surgery date as well,” he said. he declared.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack on Amess was “a tragic day for our democracy”.

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