Speed Reads

Democracy in a world of violence

British lawmakers gather to mourn David Amess after stabbing police call a likely act of terrorism

British lawmakers, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer, gathered Saturday to pay their respects at the Methodist church where David Amess, a lawmaker from Johnson's ruling Conservative Party, was fatally stabbed on Friday while meeting with constituents. Police arrested a 25-year-old man and recovered a knife, and are describing the attack as an act of terrorism. The Metropolitan Police said its early investigation "revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism," but did not elaborate. 

Essex police said Amess was treated by emergency responders but died at the scene. Amess, 69, was married and had five children. He had been in Parliament since 1983.

The killing was the second of a British member of Parliament in five years, after the July 2016 murder of Labour's Jo Cox, and it raised new questions about security for lawmakers as they meet with the people they represent and carry out other aspects of their jobs.

Home Secretary Priti Patel on Saturday remembered Amass as a "man of the people" who was "killed doing a job he loved," and said "we will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy." She added, "We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation ... to stop us from functioning."