British counterterrorism officers will lead the investigation into the murder of UK MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death while meeting with his constituents.
Amess was killed earlier today after a man walked into the Methodist church where the meetings were taking place and stabbed the Conservative politician, an MP since 1983 who represented the seat of Southend West for the last 25 years. Authorities quickly swarmed the church and attempted to save the 69-year-old’s life, but he died on the scene. They arrested a 25-year-old man immediately, recovered a knife from the scene, and aren’t on the lookout for any other suspects.
“The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counter-terrorism command,” said Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington at a press conference. “It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident. But as always, they will keep an open mind.”
Following Amess' killing, multiple British politicians came forward to talk about their worries and how this has sparked immense fear for them.
Earlier today, Lindsay Hoyle, the speaker of the Commons, said that politicians' security would be reviewed.
“The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course,” said a Home Office spokesperson.
Floral tributes are placed near the scene as police officers stand guard. Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
Kim Leadbeater, a current Labour MP, is the sister of Jo Cox, a politician murdered by a neo-Nazi while holding meetings with her constituents in 2016. Leadbeater told UK media that her husband asked her to step down after her family heard about Amess’ killing.
“I find myself now working as a politician and trying to do good things for people and it’s really important you get good people in public life, but this is the risk we are all taking and so many MPs will be scared by this,” she said.
“My partner came home and said ‘I don’t want you to do it any more’ because the next time that phone goes, it could be a different conversation.”
Earlier today, anti-vaxxers and COVID conspiracy theorists attempted to paint today’s incident as a false flag implying that the murder was carried out to harm their community.
“Maybe I’ll get a visit from the feds, but guys this is false flag shit happening and they’re going to attribute the blame wherever they want,” said a man who goes by Mad Mix Conspiracies on Telegram. “We have to remain vigilant and keep doing what we’re doing.”
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