Conservative MP dies after stabbing at Essex constituency meeting

An attacker fatally stabbed a British lawmaker during a meeting Friday with constituents outside London.

David Amess, a member of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, was attending a meeting with people in his district in Essex, which is just north east of London, when the attack happened around midday.

His office said that he was stabbed numerous times. Essex police confirmed that Amess died of his injuries.

Essex police said a man had been arrested at the Methodist church where the meeting was being held. They found a knife at the scene and said that they weren’t looking for other suspects. Photographs online showed the area cordoned off and paramedics at the scene.

British lawmakers usually meet with constituents in their local district once a week. Politicians have been attacked on several occasions in the past during these meetings.

In 2016, days before Britons voted to leave the European Union, an unemployed gardener stabbed and shot lawmaker Jo Cox, who had campaigned for the UK to remain a member of the bloc.

During the attack, the man shouted words to the effect of “Keep Britain independent” and “Britain first, Britain always comes first,” according to prosecutors. The crimes shook the UK during a period in which Britons were deeply divided over the Brexit vote.

In 2010, Labour Party lawmaker Stephen Timms was stabbed while meeting with constituents by a woman who was associated with an Islamic extremist and who opposed Timms’s support for the Iraq war. Timms was stabbed twice but survived. In 2000, an aide to a Liberal Democrat lawmaker was killed defending his boss when a man armed with a sword stormed his constituency meeting.

Amess was one of the longest-serving lawmakers in Britain’s parliament, having first been elected in 1983. He was known as strong supporter of Britain’s exit from the European Union and promoted conservative views on marriage and abortion.

The 69-year-old was also a staunch defender of animal rights. An official at his office confirmed that he was stabbed but didn’t give further details. He was married with five children.

Write to Max Colchester at [email protected]

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires

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