Northern Ireland news

Murder of Conservative MP during constituency clinic in Essex branded `shocking and horrendous'

Conservative MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death in Essex yesterday during an constituency surgery, "took a keen interest in Northern Ireland and its people"
Marie Louise McConville

POLITICIANS from across the north last night expressed shock at the murder of MP Sir David Amess.

The married father-of-five was stabbed multiple times during a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Essex at around noon.

Despite being treated by the emergency services, the 69-year-old Tory veteran died at the scene.

A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Sir David is the second sitting MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

A devout Catholic, Sir David was one of parliament's most dedicated anti-abortion activists.

A "passionate and dedicated" patron of Right to Life UK, he championed initiatives to introduce more protections for unborn babies and more support for women facing crisis pregnancies.

First Minister Paul Givan last night described what had happened as a "brutal attack on a man with a distinguished history of public service, and the repercussions will resonate with us all".

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said: "No public representative should face attack when carrying out their duties on behalf of their constituents".

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson branded the killing "shocking and horrendous".

"David Amess has been a long-standing friend to me personally but also to the Union," he said.

"More than many in Westminster, he took a keen interest in Northern Ireland and its people. He always wanted to see the country moving forward.

"Such a brutal attack must be condemned and is a reminder of the dangers which still face people in public office".

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long described what had happened as "beyond awful news".

"David was a gentleman..Attacks on MPs are an attack on democracy and we all need to stand together against them".

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the killing was "shocking beyond words".

"To suffer a brutal attack like this in the line of public service is absolutely horrendous," he said.

He added: "Politicians make themselves accessible to the public to provide support and improve their lives. No one believes that they'll be attacked in that effort".

Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie described the death of Mr Amess as "heartbreaking news".

"It`s an absolute tragedy that he lost his life doing the job he loved while serving his constituents," he said.

Simon Coveney, the Republic's for Foreign Affairs, described the attack as a "shocking and tragic incident".

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news