Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

British Lawmaker David Amess Dies In Stabbing Attack; Condolences Pour In From Across UK; Police: 25-Year-Old Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder, Knife Recovered At Scene. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 15, 2021 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We're bringing you the latest breaking news out of England, a shocking stabbing attack on the British

Lawmaker David Amess has ended in his death. He was attacked just a short time ago at his constituency which is not far from London about an hour or

so just North East of London.

Police say they have made an arrest and say the incident is now a murder inquiry. All of this unfolding at Leigh-on-Sea it's a town within his

constituency of South end on sea about an hour or so out of London.

Now he had been an active member of the UK Parliament since the 1980s. Reaction and condolences for the Amess Family are pouring in. The widower

of the murdered MP Joe Cox tweeting my thoughts and love are with David's family they are all that matter now.

This brings everything back the pain, the loss, but also how much love the public gave us following the loss of Joe. I hope we can do the same for

David now. And Joe Cox, of course, murdered just before the Brexit vote in the UK five years ago.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps adding his reaction saying like "A dedicated thoughtful man and a true parliamentarian who lost his life while

serving the constituents he worked relentlessly for throughout his career".

Carrie Johnson, the wife of the British Prime Minister tweeting and I quote absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess. He was hugely kind and

good and enormous animal lover and a true gen. This is so completely unjust thoughts with his wife and their children CNN's Salma Abdelaziz with the

details from London, Selma?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely Becky shocking, devastating, heartbreaking a lot of questions right now, Becky, but still waiting on

answer from the police, of course from the Prime Minister. But what we know so far is that Sir David Amess is a 69-year-old politician, a mainstay of

the Conservative Party, was holding essentially open office hours at a local church in the County of Essex.

Just after noon local time here a man a 25-year-old man entered that church and stabbed Sir David Amess several times, multiple times. We understand

there were eyewitnesses inside the church who witnessed this horrific attack and alerted police quickly, ambulance arrived to the scene and tries

to revive and help Mr. Amess but unfortunately, according to local media, he lost his life inside that church.

Air ambulances were overhead but they were unable to reach him in time, of course, and police then arrested again that 25-year-old suspect who is now

in custody, police also say they recovered a knife at a at the scene. And they are looking for no one further at this time which indicates at least

for now that this incident is over.

But now the questions begin, who is this man? Who is this 25 year-old- suspect? And what was his motivation? Why did he go inside the church and stab a politician who was just holding open office hours? A very common

occurrence here in the UK for MPs to tweet out that there is times in which people can be visited.

So that will be the first question. Who is this suspect? What are his motivations? And of course now, the concern is over security fears around

lawmakers. Can they safely do their jobs and security services, the police the authorities will try to be answering that question and restore a sense

of security and confidence there Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and I'm just watching the tributes continue to come in. One person suggesting as well the murder of an MP goes way beyond party

politics. Of course it's an attack on all of us on all of democracy and those words being echoed I know by many, many people in the UK at present.

It's worth just pointing out that we are watching live images of that Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea where the constituency MP David Amess has

been stabbed to death today. And just describe what you know of Leigh-on- Sea? This is a quiet part of the country just outside of London, of course.

ABDELAZIZ: Absolutely, Becky, this is a - this is in Essex County. So it's the county that borders London to the East. This is a small community quiet

community a place where David Amess would have been very well known to his constituents to the public.

He is known as a social conservative, again over 30 years in Parliament so a well-known politician and advocate for animal welfare. He was again

socially conservative so also known for pro-life, anti-abortion stance but he was not seen as a controversial figure.


ABDELAZIZ: He was seen as a moderate voice one, one that can reach across parties that can reach across the aisle and you're going to see that in the

tributes that are going to pour in. You're going to hear tributes from every walk of life and from every politician across the spectrum, again,

because he was such a well-known and respected figure.

Someone who has stood out for being in the Conservative Party for as long as he has at times this is a very hard political environment to survive,

but yet he has remained since he was elected in 1983. So this is beyond his politics. He is a public figure.

He is a respected person in his community, a father of five one appoints his family here, who I am sure are absolutely heartbroken, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. David Miliband, today, a Former Foreign Minister in the UK, suggesting today hate cannot be allowed to rule he says in the UK. Salma,

thank you! We want to bring in father Jeff Woolnough He knew David Amess and will open the doors to his church for those who aren't grieving those

who are suffering today. Father, Jeff, tell us what you knew about this man?

REVEREND JEFF WOOLNOUGH, ST. PETER'S CHURCH: Well, first of all, good afternoon from Essex which is near London here? The church where Sir David

has been cruelly murdered is just a five minute walk from me that was a Methodist Church where he's been working for his constituency, on the

Catholic priests.

So Sir David, is a practicing Catholic first of all, we need to say that. And that's why I know him well, because he has supported all of the

Catholic clergy in our area for many, many years. Not just us of the denominations, people of all religions.

He has been a great, great friend, and his old school parliamentarians, you know what I mean by that, that he actually listens to people sits down with

them, he's paid the price for it today is paid the price for being that open and generous with his time.

ANDERSON: You know his family while I assume as well.

WOOLNOUGH: Well, no, I mean - listen, I'm a priest, I don't get involved with some people's social workers. But I'm, as an MP, and as someone that

has often visited my church to come to mass or come and see me and just say, how's it going, father? Is there anything I can do for you?

That's an art form that has been lost with politicians over many years. You know, locally, when we see someone like Sir David Amess working like that,

but the - what we would call in this country at the coalface right, ground roots level, grassroots level, I'm in total, just total shock.

I just don't know what to say to anyone, you know, you're asking me these questions, I just feel totally numb. We're going to have a mass at six

o'clock in our parish, which I know people will come to, and the main thing we will do is remember, we will have silence because we need to be quiet


We just need to reflect on this terrible thing. And pray for Julie his wife and his family. And for all members of parliament --

ANDERSON: You're being very honest, when you say of course, and you're being very honest, when you say it's, you know, it's very difficult to know

what to say. I mean, your job is to, to speak to people and to help them through a period like this. And I know that you are, yes, you're throwing

your church doors open. Just tell us I mean, what is that you feel you can provide at this point?

WOOLNOUGH: Well, because obviously, because Sir David is a Catholic, then this will, this will touch all of the different religious communities but

because especially he was a Catholic in our tradition, we need now to offer a mass for his soul quickly, and that's what we're going to do at six


So I will say the Holy Mass of Requiem for his soul. And everyone that comes to that will have a chance just to be quiet, to listen and ask in

tears, I think and reflect on. You never know what you've got till it's gone. Do you? I'm going to be really honest. You never know.

He was only in my church a couple of weeks ago, having a look at a live exhibition that I was putting together with one of his staff taking photos

is always really upbeat, smiling, happy. No a great, great man. So it is great loss --

ANDERSON: How will this affect the community Jeff just talked to us about the community --?

WOOLNOUGH: It does - this will, this should anyway. And I'd be really sad if this didn't happen. You should go across all the different political

divides that we have in our country. You know, David's a conservative. He's one of the longest Members of Parliament in Westminster.


WOOLNOUGH: A generous, good humored, caring, passionate about people and that's how that's going to affect the community because we just can't will

someone out and say, right, you're going to succeed Sir David Amess, because, you know, he's a one off. He's totally unique. One of the greatest

guys that seriously that I've ever worked with, and I mean that. Hello?

ANDERSON: We know. Yes, no, I'm just so I was just listening to what you said. We know very little about the attacker, aside from the fact that they

are 25-years-old. We know nothing about --

WOOLNOUGH: We want to pray over him but, place obviously one is such a real nasty crime scene. I can't get in there, which I'm sad about. But, you

know, Catholic priests get called out to all kinds of emergencies and accidents.

But this is something that the police felt that they, you know, the priests couldn't go so I've had to abide by the law on that. That's why it's

important for me now to start praying with my people. And I think after with the greatest respect, after speaking to you guys, is to turn my phone


ANDERSON: Yes. Well, listen, we do appreciate you talking to us. It's so important that we hear about who Sir David Amess was? And so Father Jeff,

thank you very much indeed for joining us. Nick Paton Walsh is with us he is our Security Editor. Thank you. And back with is now, your thoughts


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: It is utterly shocking. I mean, the sense of horror I think felt in a local community,

like Leigh-on-Sea amplified across the United Kingdom where political murder is extremely rare, where murder frankly, is comparatively

thankfully, for those living here rare as well.

About 600 March to March over the last year counted in the United Kingdom, in a country of well over 60 million individuals very, very small threat

here to normal daily life. And at the same time two violent murders like that more prevalent you might say, sometimes in the inner cities here like

London, but somewhere like Leigh-on-Sea leafy constituency, utterly shocking.

A crime like this, particularly in that quiet Methodist Church during a constituency surgery, where members of parliament talk to their

constituents about sometimes most mundane, but obviously very important to them problems on a local level.

This is already causing the body politic of the United Kingdom, to shake slightly attributes pouring in from across the spectrum, as you might

expect, and the key piece of information here that we are missing. Now we know that a 25 year old man is in police custody suspected of murder and

knife having been recovered from the scene.

The question here is, of course, the motivation. Many will be wondering, does this hail from something unknown in Sir David Amess' life itself or

the more likely possibility? Are we talking here about politically motivated crimes?

The far right which according to the British security services, were behind a third of the plots interrupted at a late stage since 2017 or the more

prevalent horrifying to say over the past two decades of Islamist inspired terror in the United Kingdom, or something else possibly.

Minds casted back to the murder of Joe Cox MP in 2016, the MP for - on spin for the rival Labour Party, as the Conservative Party that's a David Amess

serves or served at this time, they've been in power for over a decade.

Now Joe Cox murdered by a man who glorified the Nazis who used a shotgun that had been modified and a knife to carry out that shocking murder also,

in broad daylight. That in itself, just ahead of the Brexit referendum in 2016, that's changed, frankly, the course of immigration of politics of the

economy, frankly, here in the United Kingdom, with its somewhat unexpected vote to leave the European Union, that crime stunned the United Kingdom

made many things something like that was frankly, from UAE wouldn't see again in their lifetimes.

And the notion that we see something of a similar ilk occurring yet again, within just five years, we'll leave many - to what's quite happening to the

political dialogue in the United Kingdom? As I say, we don't know the motivation here. So I am trying to fill in that very important gap.

But it's already part of this country's reaction to this chilling crime to try and work out quite what fueled this man 25-years-old, as we are told by

the police very little else to commit this particular crime Becky.

ANDERSON: MPs should be able to work without fear. That's the kind of sense that you are getting from so many lawmakers who will be terrified by this

and will also be of course, in the first instance mourning the loss of lawmaker who has been around in British politics for forty years.


ANDERSON: I know that we've just got - we're just getting more tributes in. This is Rishi Sunak, who is the Finance Minister effectively in the UK. The

worst aspect of violence is the inhumanity it stills joy from the world and can take from us that which we love the most. Today took a father, a

husband, and a respected colleague, all my thoughts and prayers are with Sir David and his loved ones at this point.

And you will, Nick, as you as you rightly point out, you know, we will hear from lawmakers and those who are also involved in sort of local council

work, I'm sure we will hear that politics have been so polarized whether or not this is politically motivated, or this was politically motivated, there

is that real fear now, isn't there? That polarization in politics in the UK could ultimately lead to incidents like this?

You've been absolutely right to point out that this is really rare in the UK, but actually attacks on lawmakers are less rare than we actually - then

we actually report on. I'm talking about verbal threats, as opposed to physical threats. You and I talked to lawmakers on a regular basis, and

they are threatened so much more often than I certainly as a youngster growing up in Britain will ever have imagined they would have been and

that's a concern, isn't it?

WALSH: Certainly. And one of the more glowing tributes we've just heard is from an opposition lawmaker, from a Labour Party part of the Shadow Cabinet

there David Lammy, who regularly gets abuse on Twitter of the vilest racist form.

And I think this is something very new to British politics that we have seen in the past 10 years, people using these platforms to say things which

were unthinkable, frankly, and to be said face to face still probably are today. And they use the cowardice of that digital distancing, to kind of

get away with spouting that kind of hatred. But it is increasingly common.

It's important to point out though, that despite the divisiveness that what, essentially much of the Brexit vote, and a lot of the migration

rhetoric that came around that. What that's done to British politics, it is still a very, very small fringe percentage that are involved in this sort

of extremist rhetoric and that kind of racism.

It is not something repeatedly after election after election that has ever managed to get into parliament, partly because of the need for people to

get past a certain margin in the constituencies where people vote in order to get an MP into parliament. Without that their vote simply disappears you

might say.

So many questions will be asked about whether this is related to politics here at all? Many deep concerns about what the increased fuel of divisive

rhetoric and politics is doing to those on the fringes. The important point to make here is that David Amess was not a man who voiced extremist


He was instantly recognizable face from the Conservative Party, very centrist. his opinions were about honoring the queen, he was a prominent

Catholic pro animal rights times, against the free availability of abortion to some degree, but nothing in his personal manifesto suggested that he

might be a target for a hate crime if indeed, this is what that certainly was.

And so that will be a key part of questions. And you have to also remember too, that while crimes like this, people look for rational political

motivation, they look for a narrative that explains why they occurred. Often these crimes are committed by individuals who don't necessarily

follow that same kind of logical circuit board.

So you can end up often with people who are not that well, committing acts of violence like this. We still don't have much information about this 25-

year-old man who's currently in police custody, except that he is arrested on suspicion of murder.

But that is essentially the key missing part here. Because once we know quite what caused that man to go to that leafy, quiet suburb of Leigh-on-

Sea where the Methodist Church was extraordinary, silent and peaceful part of the United Kingdom, a peaceful part of Europe, then we can start to work

out what the ramifications of this horrid crime are for British political life?

Whether this is something like the murder of Joe Cox that is slowly seeping its way into the divisive rhetoric of our political life here, or whether

possibly it is an aberration that people can slowly begin to absorb but eventually not see change the dialogue in this country?

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Nick, thank you! I'm going to take a very short break at this point, and we will be back with more on this. Before I do

that, let's just remind our viewers what it is that we are discussing here. British Conservative Lawmaker, David Amess, has died after being stabbed

multiple times here at the Methodist Church you are seeing on your screens at a constituency meeting in the East of London.


ANDERSON: He was 69; he represents this area South and West in Essex. He was stabbed around midday by a man who walked into a meeting with voters

from his electoral district being held there at that church according to a witness at the scene.

He has been an active lawmaker in the UK Parliament for 40 years. He was one of the longest serving Members of Parliament and was knighted in 2015

for his political and public service. We will take a very short break back with more after this.


ANDERSON: Well, the breaking news this hour Conservative British Lawmaker David Amess has died after he was stabbed multiple times at a constituency

meeting near London the attack happening here in broad daylight at a Methodist Church where Amess was addressing the public.

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man and say they are not looking for any further suspects. A knife was recovered from the scene. CNN's Salma

Abdelaziz is live from London. You're about an hour away from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex in London.

We have heard from the police about an hour or so ago when they released a statement saying that a man had died at the scene and since then, of

course, the sad news is that that man is indeed the local constituency MP.

This all happened Salma about four and a half hours ago just after midday, local time. Before that time, David Amess was going about his regular

business, business that he would have been conducting in the democracy that is Britain going out of business he's been conducting for more than 40

years as a local constituency MP, Salma?

ABDELAZIZ: Absolutely Becky. That's already how this is being seen and received by lawmakers and by supporters of Mr. David Amess. This is an

attack on democracy for some because this is a politician who was doing his job, a well-known figure in the community; somebody who was meeting with


So there's going to be concerned about the safety of politicians but also whether or not this is an attack on the very democracy of the UK? This is

so much larger than this politician, although of course, right now concerns and our hearts go out to his family.

Let's start by just what happened. What we know is that around noon, local time, Sir David Amess was meeting with voters at a local church. He had

announced on Twitter that he had these office hours where he wanted to meet with his constituents, and that's exactly what he was doing just afternoon

a few minutes afternoon, local time.

A 25-year-old man entered that church and stabbed Amess multiple times we understand. Eye witnesses were at the scene and quickly alerted authorities

according to local media, police and ambulances arrived at the scene.


ABDELAZIZ: Of course, medical workers tried to revive David Amess but were unfortunately not able to do so. And he did die inside that church

according to local media as ambulance services tried to revive him. There were air ambulances overhead.

Of course, they were not able to get to him in time. And police did then, of course arrest and take into custody that 25-year-old man. We do not know

any more information about him. We only know that the police recovered a knife at the scene we can suppose that's the murder weapon a knife at the

scene and they are not looking for anyone further.

So that appears for now that the incident is over. But this is really when the reckoning begins. Becky, you have a very well-known, well-respected

politician someone who as you mentioned has been in politics for over 40 years, was first elected to Parliament in 1983 respected by his community

stabbed to death in broad daylight while doing his job as a politician.

Of course, tributes already pouring in and concerns and questions from other lawmakers who are wondering about their security and their safety, as

well as of course reaching out and giving condolences to the family Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, and more tributes coming in. And I think these are important to just get to our viewers, many of whom will remember the former British

Prime Minister Theresa May, who tweeted today heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess, a decent man and respected parliamentarian killed

in his own community, while carrying out his public duties. A tragic day she says, for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David's


And the current Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, tweeting the following and I'll let you just read this from the screen as I talk to Salma here or let

me read it out to you. Devastated to hear the terrible news about Sir David Amess MP, he was a lovely, lovely man and a superb, superb parliamentarian.

My thoughts are with all of his family and friends. That's Liz Truss and these tributes are pouring in.

I think, you know, it's just important for us to share those with you as we continue with this breaking news. The tragic killing of the parliamentary

MP David Amess, a tragic day for our democracy says Theresa May Selma?

ABDELAZIZ: Absolutely. Again, I think we have to put this in context. This is a horrific a brutal murder of a man, a father, a politician, a son, a

member of the community. But it is bigger than that Becky it is indeed an attack on a standing politician in office while he was doing his job.

And it comes just about five years after a very similar incident occurred the murder of another lawmaker Joe Cox. She was murdered again, in broad

daylight by an attacker; a right wing person who had shown affiliation to Nazi memorabilia was interested in the Nazi Party, somebody who was clearly

a radicalized right wing individual.

He stopped Joe Cox just before the Brexit vote. So already there's questions about how divided our politics here across Britain? How

polarizing is the political situation here? Does that allow or give room for individuals to be radicalized?

And if that's happening, what types of safety procedures are in place to keep lawmakers safe from incidences, like this? We have seen in the last

few years, just how divisive the politics has been across this country? Not and it's not just, of course, what's just occurred in person at office

hours, we see this on social media all the time.

I interviewed several MPs after the Black Lives Matter Movement, who said they were facing death threats on a very regular basis, online. And we have

seen how the political spectrum here has changed in the last few years, as this country has voted out of the EU, as the political spectrum has become

more divided and more polarized?

Again, we don't know the motivation of this shooter. But the conversation here Becky is going to be about something so much bigger than this singular

incident. It's going to be about the safety of lawmakers in this country, the ability to conduct their crucial job meeting with voters being able to

speak to their constituents.

And there's also going to be a lot of conversation about how divided politics is here? Because Becky, this is a very worrying record here to

lawmakers both stabbed and murdered within just about five years apart for a country that is peaceful, that expects stability and security. Becky

people are going to be asking questions.

ANDERSON: They are going to be asking questions and they may not get the answers that they need at present where those questions are going to come



ANDERSON: And it will be - it will take some time before people work out what the significance and consequences of this tragic event is. Thank you

Salma, we will take a very short break. I'm Becky Anderson; you are watching "Connect the World" this evening without breaking news back after



ANDERSON: Want to get you back to our breaking news coming into CNN conservative British lawmaker David Amess died in a stabbing attack. This

horrific incident happened here in broad daylight at a Methodist Church where he was meeting with the public. Police arrested a 25-year-old man on

suspicion of murder.

They say they are not looking for any other suspects. We will of course, continue to bring you the very latest developments on this incident in what

is an otherwise very, very quiet community in an area just North of London, there in southeast England.

Joining me now is one senior Kevin Hale, he is the local priest, the parish priest at Leigh-on-Sea and he knew, David, well, you must be horribly

shocked. So just explain the man that you knew well.

KEVIN HALE, PARISH PRIEST, LEIGH-ON-SEA: Yes, indeed, I think the feeling of all of us here is one of utter shock at the moment, we can hardly

believe what's happened. David was very familiar face here. He lived in the area.

He was an MP for many, many years. And a great constituency man, but above all, a great family man too. And devout Catholic, he was known - because he

was at Mass in the local parish churches, a great supporter of any local endeavors and enterprises.

I could also say to you, this is important really in his life that he was a great supporter of the prolife movement and a great supporter of marriage

and family life and a great supporter of our Catholic education system.

He was a great advocate for us and we can hardly believe that he's not with us anymore. So yes, it's a very, very black and sad day for us here.

ANDERSON: And clearly, our thoughts and prayers are with his family. How will this impact the community, Sir?

HALE: I think there's going to be tremendous shock over the weekend. I've had numerous calls already from people in the area who can hardly believe

what's happened.


HALE: I think it's going to have an impact right across the community here, not just in the Catholic community, but all the faith, communities and

denominations in the area because David was a very well-known and was readily available to any of them.

He would make himself available at any function that was going on. He was at a familiar face at all kinds of events across his constituency here. So

yes, he will be deeply, deeply and sadly missed.

ANDERSON: I'm just going to read for the purposes of our viewers Sir, just the words of Sajid Javid here devastated to learn of Sir David Amess's

murder. A great man, a great friend, and a great MP killed while fulfilling his democratic role.

My heart goes out to Julia, his family, and all who loved him. Let us remember him and what he did with his life. What will you are saying to

community members this weekend, Sir?

HALE: I think we'll be saying, first of all, our prayers and our hearts go out to Julio and his children. But I think we'll also be giving thanks to

God, for the great work he's done. I think this is very important.

Obviously, we're going to be praying for the eternal repose of his soul. But we're great Thanksgiving for all he achieved in his years, as a member

of parliament. I think we can't underestimate the great good he did.

And the fact that he was so loved in the House of Commons, that this is a wonderful testimony really, to his personality and his ability and the

great good that he did, up and down the community over those years. So yes, indeed, the first thought, of course, is prayer for his repose and prayer

for his family, but then thanksgiving for his life.

ANDERSON: And you are a local parish priest in Leigh-on-Sea, just describe the area for our international audience, if you will.

HALE: Yes, of course, Leigh-on-Sea is a very ancient fishing port on the history as you come out of London. So as you go east out of London in a

straight line towards the coast, it's quite a body area, quite an affluent area.

It's a commuter belt, so people can commute into London easily within an hour from here. It's a parish in an area; I should say that's got a lot of

young families in it.

It's a much sought after place to move. And David was very much part of the environment here. And he contributed enormously, really to the well-being

of the town in the constituency where he was living.

ANDERSON: Sir, we'll leave you to the work that you I'm sure do so well in talking to and providing support for those who are feeling shocks, who are

grieving the loss of this local constituency MP today. So thank you very much indeed, though, for joining us, we're going to take a very short break

back after this.



ANDERSON: Conservative British MP Sir David Amess has been killed. The British lawmaker was stabbed multiple times earlier today while he met with

constituents at a Methodist Church near London.

A witness told Reuters a man walked into the meeting and stabbed him. Essex police say they quickly arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder

after arriving on the scene. Amess is the second sitting British lawmaker in five years to be killed in their constituency, the other of course being

Jo Cox.

Well, the Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle wrote this on Twitter, I am shocked and deeply distressed by the killing of Sir David

Amess. Our thoughts and prayers are with David's family, friends and colleagues.

Sir Lindsey tweeted again flags across Parliament are being lowered to half-mast following the news of the killing of Sir David Amess. Our

thoughts and prayers, he says again are with David's family, his friends and colleagues and Nick Paton Walsh joining us with more on this.

A dark day for democracy is what a number of people have said not least the former leader of the Conservative Party. I'm sure a friend of Sir David

Amess and the former British Prime Minister, Theresa May today, Nick.

PATON: Yes, I mean, certainly at this point, we don't know precisely what the motivations were of this 25-year-old man who police say has been

arrested on suspicion of murder.

But regardless whether this crime was political in nature, it is a dark day indeed for any democracy when a serving member of its Parliament's, of its

government is stabbed in broad daylight.

He was in that Methodist Church, performing what's called a constituency surgery. Here in the United Kingdom, MPs often leave the business of

Parliament earlier on in the working week, like a Friday to go back and to attend to the local matters of their constituents.

And these occur in open meetings where simply by the right of being a constituent you can turn up normally with an appointment and discuss

matters that are important to you, because MPs are there to represent you in the broader parliament and address those local issues on a national


It is there where this shocking crime occurred in Leigh-on-Sea. As you heard, they're a quiet form of historic sort of fishing port a place sought

after for his tranquil lifestyle in a country frankly, where violent crime is relatively rare.

600 murders in the last financial year 2020 to 2021, about 39 percent of which were using edged weapons bladed weapons, so this crime unclear and

his motivation as we are at this moment still shocks people because of how comparatively rare it is in the United Kingdom to see a violent murder like


How exceptionally rare it has been frankly for many decades to see a sitting MP killed in this nature. The last before that of Jo Cox killed in

2016 was in 1990 if I'm correct. So this is not something which occurs with great frequency here. But many people will be asking why have we seen in

the past five years now two sitting MPs murdered.

The first the motivations behind which the killing of Jo Cox the Labour MP for badly on spin murdered by a man who a judge later described as

glorifying Nazi ideology murdered using it seemed a modified kind of Ghana to rifle and also a weapon and murdered a matter of hours frankly, before a

crucial referendum here in the United Kingdom, about whether Britain should stay in the European Union or not, the attackers shouting slogans about

British independence, clearly a man who was deeply troubled and fueled by a far right extremist ideology.

But that shocked so many because it fed into a body politic here in the UK that's marked frankly, by how moderate it often is, so much of the time

where the party in power simply chooses to shift to more central ground to kick the incumbent out and such violence so extraordinarily rare.

Now we've seen tensions over migration tensions over the European Union tensions ever so much in daily fabric here become part of this violent

political debate we often see online in the UK but it rarely spills into the real world.


WALSH: And it is shocking, frankly, on a day like this to have serving politicians come forward and talk about the threats they feel or the risk

they sometimes feel they face even a man like Sir David Amess who marked frankly, by how moderate by how centrist he was a devout Roman Catholic who

believed in animal rights, who was not particularly pro-abortion, who, frankly was a fan of greater monuments for the queen, very central a

recognizable face for ordinary Britons from the Conservative Party.

He has been in power here for over a decade. And a man who barely stood for anything fringe or extreme on the moderations of his own party in the first

place to be targeted likes this. Justice so outside of the normal sway of politics here in the UK, it is utterly shocking.

And I think the important thing to remember here, Becky, is we don't know why this happened. There are great fears that it may be this increasingly

savage debate online that may have fuel rhetoric around this.

Many of the politicians we're hearing from today are sharing their experiences of the abuse they've suffered on lines. David Amess wrote in a

book recently that he's had; "The old nuisance" and I paraphrase this here from individuals of the public coming near him, leading him to say, "We

regularly check our locks".

Now, you might call that rhetorical. You might call that a sign of the broader sense of growing disquiet MPs had about their personal safety. But

I should stress again, a crime like this is not a common occurrence.

And that is why I think we're talking about it here on an international level and it's why it's got such consternation and terror, frankly, here in

the United Kingdom. I say terror. We don't know the motivation behind this, but it is utterly chilling.

And I think something which the British government are going to have to address pretty quickly to explain why we are seeing another sitting MP

killed in this barbaric fashion and quite what could be done to ensure we don't have another five years until we see something like this happen


ANDERSON: Yes, Nick, and you were alluding to comments Sir David Amess himself made in a book that he wrote recently. He said specifically and you

write your paraphrase was bang on.

I myself have had over the years' experience nuisance from the odd member of the general public at my own property. He said we regularly check our

locks. And he said in this book that he published last year that he was reflecting on the murder of fellow lawmaker Jo Cox in 2016.

And he said that the killing had changed how lawmakers interacted with the public it was in a very British way. He said these increasing attempts have

rather spoilt The Great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians. It might have spoilt that tradition.

But he continued to do that and he has lost his life today as a result of that. Nick, we're going to take a very short break. We will be back after

this. You're watching CNN with this breaking news.



ANDERSON: Conservative British MP David Amess has been killed. The British lawmaker was stabbed multiple times earlier today while he met with

constituents at a church. About an hour away from London, a witness told Reuters a man walked into the meeting and stabbed him.

Essex police say they quickly arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder after arriving on the scene. And these are live images of that

Methodist church there in Leigh-on-Sea in England. He is the second sitting British lawmaker in five years to be killed in their constituency, the

other being of course, Jo Cox.

Well, many of our guests telling us how highly regarded David Amess was and the tweets of condolences the Amess families are pouring including this one

from the shadow business secretary for the Labour Party, David Miliband, devastating and awful news about Sir David Amess.

He was so kind, decent and simply doing the job he loved. A terrible loss, my deepest condolences and love to his family and friends.

And another conservative colleague and Minister of Trade for International Trade wrote these words all my love and deepest sympathies are with David's

family, friends, staff and constituents. He served his community with his whole heart and he brought us all immense joy.

And an amazing, kind man who knew what mattered in life. Well, conservative Councilor David Garston joins us now from South End. David, tell us about

the man that you knew so well. Just describe him if you will.

DAVID GARSTON, COUNCILOR, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA: Well, David was a very difficult figure to miss as I can put it that way. When he walked in the room, you

knew he was there. He knew most people anyway. But he always had so much to tell and so much to talk about.

And he was really interested in the welfare of people as well and walking out with him as we did very, very regularly in the consistency in my -

well. He didn't get very far because he knew so many people, what organizations they were involved with, very often, what their troubles were

that he had been able to deal with for them.

And he had such a tremendous memory, the religious love people. He lost his mother quite recently who was over 100 years of age. And he puts it before

that even; he puts on parties for people who missed 100 years of age.

She showed you how he loved people, he loved animals. Animal Welfare was a big thing for him. I mean, because he had so much involvement, not only

with the constituency, but with beyond that organization's beyond. When he walked into a room, you couldn't miss him because he just lit it up, and

people were so pleased to see him.

And if you're putting on a dinner with the speaker and the speaker was today, the gamers, you're guaranteed to get good numbers because people

wanted to be with him.

ANDERSON: How concerned do you think people in politics in the UK should feel about their security? I mean, clearly, we have no idea what the

motivation for this attack was today that is resulted in the loss of David's life, a 25-year-old man is being held on suspicion of murder by

local police.

And that's all we know, we are expecting to hear from the police anytime soon. But just how, how concerned are you by the nature of this attack?

GARSTON: I was concerned when Jo Cox died five years ago, because there's a local Councilor, we don't get security, we go out in numbers, there are

three counselors for board. And whenever we go out, we try and go out to three.

So David was given a lot of security for the constituency office, you know where to go, but he didn't have personal security. He loves his mobile

phone. He always had a mobile phone and he loved taking photographs as well.

He liked to photograph events and keep in keep a record. But beyond that he had no security. And I think this is something that government needs to

look into very, very carefully. Because, you know, representatives of the people, who are what MPs and councilors are, they need to be accessible.

And if you're not able to walk around, I mean, this morning before I knew any of this, I had to walk around the area because I like to look and see

if there are any problems that needs to be dealt with.

And it's a very, very difficult one, but I think, you know, the government needs to come up with something.


ANDERSON: Let's be quite clear, and I hear what you're saying. And I totally understand why you are saying what you are saying. I do want our

viewers who will be joining us from around the world to understand that how unusual this is in the UK.

And why it is so shocking because it is so unusual that an event like this, of course would happen. But sadly, this is the second killing of a sitting

parliamentary MP in the UK in just the last five years. So it's very good to have you on. Thank you very much indeed.

Your description and thoughts about David Amess have been extremely useful for us this evening. Thank you. And we're going to take a very short break.

Before I do that flags across Parliament are being lowered to half-mast following the news of the killing of Sir David Amess. The UK is now a

country in mourning. His killing is beyond politics and beyond reason.

So Amess will be missed by his family and colleagues, his friends and all who knew him said Sir Lindsay Hoyle. That is the Speaker of the House. He

said our thoughts are with all of them, we will take a break back after this.