‘Another assault on democracy’: what the UK papers say about the killing of MP David Amess

The papers have reacted to the killing of Conservative MP David Amess with shock and anger, while also reigniting the debate over politicians’ safety.

The 69-year-old died after he was stabbed several times at an open advice surgery at his constituency in Essex. The Metropolitan police have formally declared the incident as terrorism, and a 25-year-old man, believed to be a Briton with Somali heritage, has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Police believe the man acted alone and are not seeking anyone else at the moment.

The Telegraph and others including The Sun focused on the terrorism investigation. The Mail splashed with “Terror Police Probe Tory MP Murder”, calling the crime “another assault on democracy”.

The Financial Times noted the killing has brought the safety debate for politicians back into the spotlight.

Other publications expressed shock at the nature of the incident.

It was in 2016, shortly before the Brexit referendum, when Jo Cox, a Labour MP, was killed shortly before holding a surgery in her constituency, raising worries about the safety of MPs and the extent of threats and other intimidation many receive on a routine basis.

Now five years later, Amess, who had represented Southend West since 1997, and had previously been the MP for the nearby Essex seat of Basildon from 1983, was stabbed several times at the constituency event at a church in Leigh-on-Sea late on Friday morning.

Tributes have flooded in from MPs and others across the political spectrum, highlighting Amess’s 38-year career in the Commons. The Mirror noted a church vigil was told he died ‘serving the people’.

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