Johnson of UK pays tribute to ‘dedicated and passionate’ lawmaker Amess

  • Lawmakers pay tribute to his kindness, his sense of humor
  • Attack raises security questions for lawmakers
  • 25-year-old suspect police questionnaire

LONDON, Oct. 18 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute on Monday to “devoted and passionate” David Amess, a veteran lawmaker stabbed to death as he met members of the public in an attack that heightened concerns about the safety of politicians.

Amess, 69, was stabbed in a church on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, east London. There, police arrested the 25-year-old son of a former media adviser to a former Somali prime minister. He remains in detention.

They are treating the attack, which Johnson described as a “despicable act of violence”, as potential terrorism.

Amess was the second UK lawmaker to be killed in five years and lawmakers from all walks of life, some fighting back tears, paid tribute to a man they described as a kind, funny and dedicated public servant.

“We will not allow the way Sir David died to undermine his achievements as a politician or as a human being,” Johnson, wearing a black tie, told a House of Commons crowded, who had previously observed a minute of silence.

“David was a patriot who believed passionately in this country, in its people, in its future. He was also one of the nicest, kindest, sweetest individuals to ever grace these benches.”

To cheers, Johnson announced that the town of Southend-on-Sea, in the constituency of Amess, would become a town in his honor, a cause he had championed.

After two hours of tributes in parliament, lawmakers will attend a memorial service at St. Margaret’s Church for the father of five, who had been an MP for nearly 40 years.

“There are tears all around the house this afternoon,” said opposition Labor MP Harriet Harman, the longest-serving Member of Parliament.

Amess’ family, who attended the scene of his murder, said he was a patriot and a man of peace.

“So we ask people to put aside their differences and show kindness and love to everyone. This is the only way to go. Put aside hatred and work for unity,” they said. they stated.

Many colleagues recalled the times Amess made them laugh, including how the devoted Catholic once had a boiled candy blessed by the Pope after he scooped it out of his pocket as just the wrong time.

Candles and a portrait of British MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death during a meeting with voters, are seen at St Michael’s and all Angels Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Britain, October 17, 2021. REUTERS / Chris Radburn

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“The Pope took the candy thinking it was a revered object to be blessed, blessed the revered object and David had to put it in his pocket, a holy candy,” said lawmaker James Duddridge.


Amess’s murder has raised questions about the safety of politicians and what should be done to address the growing problem of online abuse.

“Today is a time to remember David, but in the days and weeks to come, we must finally address the threats and violence people face while implementing democracy in this country “said Labor leader Keir Starmer.

“A cowardly attack on a public servant doing their job is an attack on our country and our way of life… our response must always be to show that we will never be intimidated.”

Johnson’s spokesperson said Members of Parliament have been contacted by police to review security.

Detectives are questioning suspect Ali Harbi Ali, a British national, under anti-terrorism laws, looking for a possible link to Islamist extremism. Agents also search for properties in and around London.

Ali had been referred to an anti-radicalization program known as Prevent, the BBC said. But it was not formally of interest to the internal security agency MI5.

Amess was also chairman of the all-party committee that promoted good relations between Britain and Qatar, and The Times newspaper said detectives were investigating the link. Amess visited Qatar last week.

Police warned of the danger the COVID-19 pandemic posed in terms of radicalization, as vulnerable people were spending more time online, potentially exposed to extremist material.

Labor lawmaker Chris Bryant said he received a death threat after urging people to share “a kind message on Twitter today to a politician we disagree with” after the murder of A mess.

Police arrested a 76-year-old man on suspicion of malicious communications.

“Let’s have nicer language. Let’s have our differences, and that’s important … but what I don’t want is hate and meanness,” Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, told Sky. “Today is a starting point where we can change the face of politics.”

Elizabeth Piper Additional Reports; edited by Guy Faulconbridge, Ed Osmond, Angus MacSwan and Giles Elgood

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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