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CNN Live Event/Special
British MP David Amess Dies In Stabbing Attack; Day Of Mourning After Deadly Gunbattles In Beirut; Suspect Charged With Five Murder Counts In Norway Attack. Aired 2-3p EST
Aired October 15, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN NEWSROOM: Good evening to you, I'm Richard Quest and we're following a sad disturbing breaking news coming out of the United Kingdom from England where a British MP has been murdered after being stabbed multiple times in a targeted attack. The MP, Sir David Amess died at the scene, he was attending a so-called constituency meeting with those who voted for him. It was in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, which is eastern, southeastern England.
Witnesses say a man walked in, the meetings were being held at the Methodist Church and stabbed Sir David repeatedly. Essex police say they have now arrested a 25-year-old male on suspicion of murder. They are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. They say a knife has been recovered. They also confirmed that the U.K.'s counterterrorism command is going to lead the investigation into Sir David's death. Now just last year, Sir David had written about security concerns for MPs, saying he regularly checked his locks.
CNN's Nic Robertson is in Leigh-on-Sea where the attack happened. Nick Paton Walsh is in London at the houses of parliament. Let's -- before we hear from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson who spoke a moment or three ago, let's first all get an overview. First of all, Nic Robertson give me the scene there and then afterwards Nick Paton Walsh, we'll talk to you about the reaction that we're getting. Start with you Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's a quiet street here. The church is about a 100 yards behind me where the murder took place. A police line here, local residents talking to the police just now to see if they can get permission to pass along the street. It's a controlled area. And just down there on the grass verge, you can see floral tributes have been laid. One man we spoke to a little bit earlier, an Iranian national had driven up here from London, that's an hour and a half drive, we drove, all just done that this afternoon.
An hour and a half's drive to lay a wreath here because he wanted to show his support for the democratic values that he felt that Sir Martin Amos cherished and upheld, this meeting, this open sort of surgery if you will as it's known here, where he was talking face-to- face with the people who voted for him, listening to their concerns, listening to what they had to say, trying to find ways to help them and solve their issues. And that man had driven an hour and a half to lay flowers. That's how strongly he felt about it.
QUEST: Right --
ROBERTSON: So the scene here quiet. A community really gathering itself to what has happened, Richard.
QUEST: Nic Robertson, thank you. And Nick Paton Walsh, we'll be with you in a moment. But first, the speaker of the House of Commons describes the murder as sending shock waves across the entire country. Sir Lindsay Hoyle is on the phone now from Chorley, in England. Mr. Speaker, thank you taking the time, deepest condolences to you, obviously to all MPs in the entire houses of parliament for this dreadfulness. Your thoughts tonight on how this has managed to happen again, and also -- but start, first of all, sir, with your memory of Sir David Amess.
LINDSAY HOYLE, SPEAKER, HOUSE OF COMMONS (via telephone): Well, first of all, our thoughts are with his family and friends. And we were all friends with David. We're all reeling with shock and horror at what's happened. Here, we have an MP killed carrying out his duties. David was the nicest and kindest of MPs, a senior politician in the House of Commons. He was well loved on all sides. His love of animals, the love was so tense, wanted to make south end a city. Everybody knew David, as I said. A nice, a gentle person, who was well loved and well liked.
And I've got to say, there is a void, a major void in the house now, that this is a person that loved his job of being an MP. Not only did he love being an MP, he loved serving his constituents, hence why he was meeting his constituents when he was killed, carrying out the job that he loved so much. And it is real shock that we're all suffering at this stage. It is shock of colleagues right across the house. The one thing that unites us is the fight that we believe in democracy. We believe in values that people may not agree with, and one thing that we will do is stand together, united we will all be in support of democracy.
QUEST: I understand that the last thing people like you want is layers of security that get between you and the voters. But surely now, Mr. Speaker, you have to rethink, root and branch the security offered to back bench MPs, senior back bench MPs like Sir David.
HOYLE: Well, what I would say is that I'll just correct myself tonight with my constituents, and I checked with my staff, they were happy to do so. The staff quite rightly said no, the people of Chorley expect to see you, we want to be there for the people of Chorley, and that's why I carried out. And that's why I didn't shrink away far from it. I wanted to stand up there because after all, that's what David was doing, and I wanted to carry out my duties meeting my constituents. Because in the end, people will not stop the values that we hold dearly. They will not stop democracy, and I am sure that democracy will
survive. But you're quite right, I take a very strong line, but I've also got a duty of care to politicians within Westminster, their families, their staff and the staff of the house. They matter to me, and we'll of course is the only thing we'll do just now with this small one. What we've got to do is get the details, gather that information under the right thing to carry out the security that's needed, the measures that's needed, that allow MPs to carry out their duties.
Or what we've got to show that people can become an MP in the future. We must let them be put off. We must support democracy and we must fight evil. And this has been an evil day when somebody like Sir David has died carrying out the job he loved.
QUEST: Should he have had security? Should he have had police security? You have it on certain occasions, sir, as a speaker, you have it much of the time. Is it now time to give armed protection or even unarmed police office protection to ordinary back bench MPs?
HOYLE: Let me say to you now, now, I'll never discuss a topic in a forum to say what security measures we do. What we will be doing is the one thing we don't discuss openly, and quite rightly, it would be wrong of me to do so. What I would say is we take it very seriously, we continue to review. But I won't be drawn on what measures take place, what measures have taken place? And neither of us know the circumstances yet. I need to know the circumstances to make an informed decision on what we do next. Let's get the information. Let's not knee-jerk. Let's get it right.
What I would say is, we're all reeling from what's happened. It's --
QUEST: Yes --
HOYLE: The support and the arm-around colleagues that we've got to do now. And as I say, this is about David's family. This is about the sympathy to him and his friends.
QUEST: Fine --
HOYLE: We're all his friends, so we're all in shock, but how are we not going to enter a discussion on security.
QUEST: And I just want to finish on this question of shock. And I'm reading -- you know, I'm reading the various comments that people have said. The thing that's striking me -- and I'm just looking down now, Sir Keir Starmer; leader of the opposition -- "David is a profound sense of public duty." Brendan Cox(ph), "thoughts and love are with David's family." The political spectrum has come together tonight, Mr. Speaker and part -- and what's coming clear to those of us who didn't know Sir David would know him well, is politics doesn't matter tonight.
HOYLE: It doesn't. It should unite us. Politics is united in our grief, our sadness and our sorrow. And that's the one thing that must happen. We must stand firm and we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder. We may have political differences, but the one thing we believe in is democracy and that must always survive.
QUEST: Mr. Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle joining me on the line from his constituency where he was having -- it's a Friday. That's where MPs are in their constituencies having surgeries as they are known, which is when they meet and hear the concerns of those who voted for them. Mr. Speaker, I'm grateful, thank you. International security editor Nick Paton Walsh is with me. You were listening there closely I'm sure to what the speaker was saying. Interesting, I don't blame the speaker obviously for not wanting to talk about security and certainly not at this moment. But you can't avoid it since everybody has to go about their business from tomorrow onwards.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, I mean, we have actually just heard from the home secretary, the top law enforcement official in the United Kingdom, Priti Patel who says through a spokesperson statement, says "the Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course." Going previously to say that she just chaired a meeting with police security intelligence agencies to discuss the instant and the ongoing response.
Now clearly, there is a need for top government officials here to make it known that they are looking at what needs to be done differently in the future. That's not a clear promise that we are going to see an increase in security measures. And of course, as you heard there too from the speaker of the House of Commons behind me, a very clear drum- beat of not wanting to damage democracy here. Now, there may be that there have been behind the scenes -- there's a lot of British security measures tend to be taken tweaks to a person's daily routine or who escorts them because of persistent threat.
We may not know that in full clarity for obvious reasons of keeping them safer. But you will of course hear after now the second murder in five years of a sitting British MP, this continued suggestion that more should perhaps be done. But that's of course countered by how this is a relatively non-violent society, 600 murders a year in the last financial year. How, we have not seen political violence on a large scale so much since the separatism of the IRA in the '80s and '90s. So many separate questions to be asked here.
And of course, the key one still reverberating now seven hours on after this awful murder, after which the 25-year-old suspect was it seems almost immediately apprehended by police when they arrived on the scene. What was this suspect's apparent motivation? Counterterrorism police are leading this investigation, but in the same breath, they are saying that it's worth keeping an open mind. And so the balance of probability leans here towards possibly some kind of political motivation. But I should stress too --
QUEST: Nick --
WALSH: It's a fair distance now since they've had this man in custody and they haven't been a 100 percent clear what they think drive this awful crime. QUEST: But Nick, I'm old enough to remember going down -- being able
as a child at school to walk down Downing Street and stand in front of the Prime Minister's door, and you'd have your photograph taken on a Polaroid. That stopped after the IRA lobbed a bomb over -- a mortar over the fence at Downing Street and various other things, and the Brighton bomb and those sort of things. Bearing in mind Joe Cox's murder and now this. It would beg a belief if there wasn't more, I would say, security, in a wider sense for our MPs.
WALSH: Yes, look, it's an exceptionally hard decision, and I think it'll probably come down to individual MP choice essentially --
WALSH: You can't necessarily force them all to have armed guards 24/7. The simple act of that would be to destroy their ability to interface with the constituents whose opinions they need to hear. Some of these constituents may even have complaints about the police to bring to them. So, it would be very damaging to British democracy. But yes, you're right, there is going to be this absolute drum-beat of a need to feel that MPs are being protected properly.
How that is actually done, though -- unless all their meetings occur within the very seriously at times armored ports because it's behind me at the House of Commons is very hard to see. I should say again, which you know, this is a shocking crime in Britain because it's not that common. Knife crime is common in urban areas in some parts, but we do not see political violence on a regular drum-beat. And as you just said before, it's been around. But this is shocking because it's not a regular occurrence.
So, it has been more so in the last five years than anybody would possibly like, causing questions about whether the divided rhetoric of this country and the role of --
QUEST: All right --
WALSH: Social media where anyone seems to be able to be as nasty as they like to anybody else without consequence, whether that's playing a role, Richard.
QUEST: Our Nick Paton Walsh who is in parliament square. And just a few hundred yards from where Nick is, is the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was speaking when he paid tribute to the man he described as a much-loved friend and colleague.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I think all our hearts are full of shock and sadness today at the loss of Sir David Amess, MP who was killed in his constituency surgery in a church after almost 40 years of continuous service to the people of Essex and the whole of the United Kingdom. And the reason I think people are so shocked and saddened is above all, he was one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The killing of Sir David is already generating calls for greater security.
I'm joined now by the British MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith; former leader of the conservative party of which David Amess was a member and a former leader of the opposition. Sir Iain Duncan Smith, first, before we talk any more about detail for future, you obviously, having been in parliament a good few years yourself, knew David Amess very well.
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Yes I did. I knew David from the moment I arrived in 1992. In fact, I met him before I got elected. He was elected nine years before, so when I finally came to the house he was very welcoming and decent chap. I liked him, he had a good sense of humor, and a very strong faith, I'm a Catholic and I used to see him occasionally at those Catholic services and things. So, you know, all in all, I got to know him pretty well, a very strong family man. It's worth remembering he leaves behind five children and a grieving widow now as a result of this.
So very strong on family. But, you know, interestingly enough, people talk about, you know, political careers. But I don't think he had ever seen politics as a political career. I think it was a vocation for him, as it should be. Because he never really wanted to be a minister. He thought it was good enough to be a back bench, as we call it, member of parliament, and he was very good at that, assiduous at his work. Loved the constituency, shifted over when the boundaries changed later on to South End. And I think he was a remarkable individual in many senses for being unremarkable in what we normally define politicians as without holding high office.
And I just -- my prayers are with his wife and family. It's a personal tragedy now and we wait now to find out what the motivation of this ghastly moron who has taken his life.
QUEST: And you -- the way you eloquently put that takes me down. His love of being a back-bencher and dealing with this, and not seeking if you like the brass ring at the top of the pole, which so many -- but he also allowed that Catholic faith to guide him, didn't he, in his -- in the sort of things of which he was interested in? Obviously, he was very concerned with the right to life movement, and he put forward various pieces of legislation on that. But he had a humanity with him, his animal welfare legislation. He was very content with these areas.
SMITH: He was. You know, I sometimes wonder, really, because although politics is much reported, politicians aren't really much reported to the public. So when you look at polling, for example, when you ask the public here in the U.K., you know, what do you think of politicians? We always fall down somewhere below around about that of estate agents and nowadays bankers. But right at the bottom of the heap. When you ask, however, different questions, what do you think of your local member of parliament? Completely different reaction, even if they're not the ones you voted for. By and large, they get a positive sense in that poll. And that's
because as a back-bencher and as a member of parliament, your duty is to be in constituency, seeing your constituents, doing surgeries, knocking on doors, seeing them in shops, talking to them, doing the -- you know, trying to be the kind of ombudsman on life for them when everything else in the bureaucracy is failed, they come to you as a last resort. And we do all of that, a lot of it, face-to-face.
And it's the bit that goes missing really in the reporting. We report the rancor of debate, and we report, you know, who is up, who is down in the grand sweep of the big jobs of ministerial office. We don't really report what makes the oil of the engine, which is MPs on both sides getting on. And by the way, getting on with each other too, that's the other thing. You know, we can be debating and angry with each other about politics and belief. But behind the scenes, MPs from all sides of the house group together to battle for ideas and things that they think government has to do, whether it'd be gambling or as you said, right to life, all these things we find our allies often across the floor.
QUEST: Right, can I just -- though, this question of security. Which, you know, it's appropriate that we're talking about it with yourself, because, you know, you have been attacked, even recently on a much lesser scale. You have faced physical attack, even as recently as this month at the conservative party conference. Now, thank God, Sir Iain, it was not a major -- it wasn't a major attack in the sense of -- or any form of physical attack is major, but it wasn't deadly or lethal. But it raises the question, does it not, Sir Iain, about better security for you all?
SMITH: Yes, it's a funny one, this, it's very difficult to define. We are all public figures.
Some of us more than -- so, I was leader of the opposition, I was also a high profile government secretary of state. So, you know, some of us are quite high profile, others are not quite so well-known. But the reality is that for most of us in our daily lives as normal MPs, it's very difficult to understand how security of any great overt sense would help. I mean, we can't really have protection wandering around next to us, putting everybody off. Because that would then break the whole link, the umbilical cord that links us to our constituents.
You know, we need to be face-to-face with them, we need to let them in when they need to come in. I think the area that we could have protection, we do it on the offices. But when we often do surgeries, and I'd say meeting people, booked appointments sometimes, we do it often away from any particular security. And that may be an area that we'll have to look at with police maybe being back in outside of those places just to make sure that people coming in don't -- aren't carrying weapons. But other than that, with respect, it's difficult to know what more we will do.
I for one believe that this most remarkable bond that exists between human beings, the constituents and the constituency MP is what makes our political system work. It's what peculiar -- I remember being driven in a taxi in a constituency once by a refugee who had come in from Afghanistan. And I was chatting to him, I think his reaction was pretty good. And he said to me, this is remarkable. I said what? He said I'm driving you in the back of my taxi.
I said why do you find that remarkable? He said in my country, nobody in your position would ever get into a taxi. They'd be driven by, you know, cars and they'd have protection and everything else. And he said, and I look at this, he said, in this country, you're just ordinary. You go in taxis and you travel on foot, and you do things that we would never expect it elsewhere. And that brought it home to me, that actually this is the gem of our politics and we can't lose it. And I'm afraid we may have a bit more protection. But at the end of it all, we know what the risks are, and I'm afraid we accept them.
QUEST: Sir Iain Duncan Smith, very grateful you gave us time, sir, thank you.
SMITH: Yes --
QUEST: Because the news never stops neither do we. This is CNN.
QUEST: The breaking news that we're reporting tonight. The British MP Sir David Amess has been killed after being stabbed repeatedly. It happened as he attended a meeting with constituents in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder, and say they are not looking for other suspects. Nic Robinson -- Robertson, pardon me, forgive me, is still with us from Essex. I don't think we're going to hear much more. I don't know. But gut tells me that we're probably not going to get many more facts from the police tonight. What do you think?
ROBERTSON: That seems to be the case. You know, the police have laid out very straightforwardly what they have so far. They have somebody in custody. They have a knife that for all intents and purposes appears to be potentially the murder weapon. So, no more details likely from them. They have somebody they're questioning him, this 25- year-old man. What we are learning, though, and this is coming, I think from just talking to people here, but also reading some of the floral tributes here. We know that he was an MP who liked and felt animal welfare was important and his work on that was cherished. His work on the environment was cherished.
We know that he was a strong family man, had a big heart, was liked by many people. That on the issue of abortion, he was against abortion. His issues -- his policies and feelings around the LGBTQ issue perhaps lagging that of many of his younger peers in parliament. But one of the notices I just read on the floral tribute here really gives you a sense of the man and what he was doing in this community, and the clue here is in the name of this town, Leigh-on-Sea. It's on the sea.
And this was a tribute. And it said thank you for all you have done in our community, from the group called Surfers Against Sewage. They're quite a big group in this part of the U.K. But he was out trying to help everyone in the community, not just the environment, not just the animal lovers, not just people who came to him like they would have done today with their issues, their gripes, their groans or things that needed to be addressed. But even supporting and helping the surfers have cleaner, better, safer environment for them to do their surfing.
And one of the ladies who came here today I think encapsulated the feeling of so many here when she described his murder as absolutely horrible. This is how she put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone was just speechless. It was just awful. It was just -- he is such a kind, gentle soul. And you would say quite quirky and then liked by a lot of people. You know, it was shocking. Absolutely shocking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: And perhaps, another one of those quirky things about him that the lady mentioned there, he was very traditional in his conservative values. But on some issues like fox hunting for which many conservative politicians support, he was opposed to fox hunting. Clearly, siding more on the side of animal welfare. So, this was a man who really reached all elements in the community, Richard.
QUEST: Nic Robertson, appreciate it. Because the news never stops, we will continue to follow tonight. We'll be speaking to a member of parliament who knew Sir David very well about the challenges of keeping lawmakers safe. In a moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.
QUEST: I'm at your quest. The U.K.'s counterterrorism command is now leading the investigation into the killing of the British Member of Parliament, David Amess. The lawmaker was fatally stabbed as he met his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, which is east of London. Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder, and have recovered the knife that they believe was used in the killing. The Essex police -- the Essex Chief Constable described where the investigation is right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN-JULIAN HARRINGTON, ESSEX POLICE CHIEF CONSTABLE: The investigation is in its very early stages, and has been led by officers from the Specialist Counter Terrorism Command. We made it clear at the time of the incident that we did not believe there was any immediate further threat to anyone else in the area. It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident. But as always, they will keep an open mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Moments later, an emotional Essex police commissioner said to David, I know from personal experience the passion with which he stood up for and represented this community, just saying he had a big heart. CNN Correspondent Cyril Vanier is in Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister in London. Boris Johnson has already spoken. And he -- the mood tonight amongst politicians on all sides of the political spectrum is (INAUDIBLE)
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think its shock, it's sadness, and it's coming to grips with a new reality in this country. We spoke a moment ago, Richard, about the fact that, you know, when Jo Cox was killed, was murdered in 2016, you could still just about talk yourself into believing that it was an outlier. It was abnormal. It was just a one off. But now two lawmakers killed in five years, you have to reckon with the fact when you're the Prime Minister, when you are the government, you have to acknowledge that there is a security failure, there is a need for greater security among lawmakers. And so I think those are the questions that are being discussed right now among -- I mean, within the lawmaker, the MP community, and behind that door.
Boris Johnson wouldn't get into the security question. He certainly wouldn't get into any political response to anything that's happened today. So in his public pronouncements so far, which is completely normal and to be expected, he praised Sir David Amess, calling him one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics. That's something that we have heard in many tributes that were put out publicly for Sir David. But the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was pointedly asked the question about security, whether there was enough, whether more should be done, and he did not want to engage with that question, Richard.
QUEST: Cyril Vanier, thank you. A personal perspective now on Sir David from someone who knew him well.
With me is Liam Fox, a Conservative Party Member of Parliament and the former U.K. Secretary for Defense and International Trade. Good to see you. Thank you for taking time. The level -- I mean, your shock is on many levels from the loss of somebody you had known and worked with, but also in the professional capacity that another British lawmaker has been murdered. Let's start with the personal first, sir, if we may, your memory of Sir David.
LIAM FOX, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Well, I think all of us are horrified, and sad, and angry, maybe in equal measures tonight. It's only a couple of weeks since David was sitting in my office, having a drink with friends for my birthday and it's -- I think it's quite hard at the personal level to take in more that's actually happened today. And I think it maybe takes some time for that to actually sink in.
I mean, David was a very kind, very lovely, very generous person, which pretty much everybody has said, he was a great family man, he was a great representative of his constituency in Parliament, very patriotic, cared very much about his country. And it all seems so utterly senseless, at that personal level.
QUEST: And working with him, on the range of -- he was very specific, wasn't he, in the sort of things and then in the areas of whom which he worked, and where he put his faith into, to an extent his profession, he allowed his faith to guide him in his profession.
FOX: Very much. I mean, he was someone who wasn't afraid to be religious. He wasn't afraid to have those principles very much to the fore in terms of his political judgments, and how he saw issues. He also, as you said, had a range of other issues. He was a great animal lover, and made that one of his passions in parliament, but he was also in a sort of classical British sense, someone who never sought ministerial office. He was happy to represent his constituents and make his views on a wide range of issues available to Parliament. And that's very much in the essence of our parliamentary system that this isn't someone who was in politics for their own preferment. He was there because of his beliefs and his own beliefs I think were largely rooted in his own religious values.
QUEST: And on that point, because you have been fortunate and (INAUDIBLE) and you have risen through the political ranks, if you will, to those like Sir David, did they seem oddities to the rest of politics -- politicians who, you know, where it is a goal for preferment and advancement and yet you have these notable, and they are notable in all Parliaments but particularly in Westminster, notable MPs who say, no, I'm going to stay on the back benches, I'm going to go -- do the rest of you look at them as something to be admired, but still a bit odd?
FOX: No, and I don't think you can make that division quite as explicit as that. I think there are (INAUDIBLE) we said that in politics, there are two sorts, there are those who are ambitious for its own sake, and there are those who are ambitious, or if you'd like their philosopher idea, or ideology, and David certainly fell into that latter group. And there are some who simply want the personal preferment for what it brings them. I think that's a very large number of us would fall into the other group, some of that group who are, I would say, are ideological or very philosophical, also get to enjoy high office, but that's not an end in itself.
QUEST: Liam Fox, I'm talking to a lot of people so far this evening and everybody's sort of saying on the wider issue of security, well, there needs to be investigation, there needs to be this, there needs to be that that. But the raw, bald fact is, for the first time in several hundred years, two MPs have been murdered whilst going about constituency business, that has -- something has to change.
FOX: Well, I think that you have to wait and see what the result of this particular case is, what the motivations were. Any public servant, whether they're in the police force, or in my previous profession, as a doctor where I worked in your accident and emergency, you can come across disturbed, angry, dysfunctional members of the public and you're at risk. And if you want to maintain an open, democratic system, you have to accept an element of that risk.
[14:40:06] Now, I think it's reasonable to look at systems where you take modest precautions against that, David, in his surgery, for example, advertising them in advance, some of us don't do that. We don't give the location out until people actually have appointments to see us. And we're guided by the police and some -- sometimes the security services in there. But you cannot have an open democratic system without some risk anyway -- any more than you can have open public services, as I said, in the medical profession, or the rescue profession, or the police without having some risk.
QUEST: So --
FOX: The question is how you reasonably balance those risks because I think for most of us, we argue that we would wrap ourselves in the security bubble, and be unable to mix freely with the people who elect us would be an unacceptable price.
QUEST: And finally, if I could just talk about for a second, this concept of the MP's surgery, which is sort of -- it's sort of known elsewhere, but it's a backbone and it's a cornerstone. So if somebody like yourself, a prominent MP, who's held ministerial, high ministerial office, how often would you hold a surgery? How often would you make yourself available to deal with the everyday constituency matters?
FOX: Well, I would normally do it once a fortnight. Clearly, it's been affected, of course, by the pandemic, and our ability to see people face to face. But in our political system, even the Prime Minister will do constituency surgeries and meet his constituents and beyond that, you, of course, will be out in events. I was out at a -- we had a festival of local food producers just a week ago, where I was walking around a very large number of stalls, talking to local food manufacturers and mixing with large numbers of constituents.
I'm afraid that the bottom line is, if you want to live in an open, pluralistic democratic society, you cannot be immune from risks. And if you get to the point where you want to reduce that risk to a very tiny value, the price for that will be lacking the contact with the very people who elect you, and that diminishes your value, I think, as an elected politician, because one of the criticisms often leveled at politicians is well, they're out of touch with ordinary people. Well, the very example of David Amess (INAUDIBLE) that politicians are not out of touch with ordinary people, and sometimes pay a very high price for doing that.
QUEST: Liam Fox, grateful that you talked to us. Our commiserations this evening to you and all, f course, in the -- in Westminster tonight at your loss. Thank you for taking time. This is CNN. There is much else happening in the world today. We'll tell you about it, the latest from Norway, we're going to hear how years before he went on a killing spree with a bow and arrow, the suspect had posted chilling messages on social media. It's all (INAUDIBLE)
[14:45:58] QUEST: The U.K. Home Secretary, the Interior Minister, has asked police to review security arrangements for members of parliament following the shocking murder of Sir David Amess. The Conservative MP was stabbed repeatedly earlier today as he met constituents at a Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea. Police have arrested a 25-year-=old man. And we've now learned that the U.K.'s counterterrorism command will lead the investigation. We have more of that in just a moment.
The other news of the day, it's been a morning of cleaning up in Lebanon after a protest over last year's port explosion descended into the worst violence in a decade. Crowds gathered in Beirut for the funerals of seven people who were killed on Thursday. Dozens of people were wounded in the attack. Yesterday, as violence began, as protesters gathered to demand the removal of a judge that's investigating the blast. Those demonstrators were fired on by snipers above and that set off the fierce street battles. For many Lebanese, the violence was deja vu, a disturbing reminder of the country's long Civil War. The country's new Prime Minister pledged that people should not forget.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAJIB MIKATI, LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I wish they remember the Civil War and learn from it and how it affected Lebanon and the tens of thousands of people who were killed and what that led to. At the end, we will sit together and reach an agreement. We are all Lebanese. We should be united.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Elsewhere in the region, Egypt is calling for restraint in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Kuwait is urging its citizens to leave the country.
For the second week in a row, a devastating suicide attack has rocked the Shia mosque in Afghanistan during Friday prayers. According to a government-owned news agency, at least 32 people were killed in the country's second largest city of Kandahar, which is the birthplace of the Taliban. Officials say three explosions took place back to back. No claim of responsibility has been made.
In Kongsberg in Norway, the man accused of killing five people on Wednesday with a bow and arrow has now been charged with five counts of murder. The police say the suspect, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, is not disputing what took place. CNN Melissa Bell is in Kongsberg.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A chilling warning posted to Facebook in 2017.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ESPEN ANDERSEN BRAATHEN, BOW-AND-ARROW ATTACK SUSPECT: I come with a warning.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BELL: Espen Andersen Braathen saying that those who wanted to make
amends still could. Fast forward four years and Wednesday night, just after 6:00 p.m., Braathen, a Danish national and Muslim convert began his rampage here inside this supermarket. An off-duty police officer was wounded before Braathen headed off carrying a bow, his arrows, and two other weapons, although for the time being police will not say what kind.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PER THOMAS OMHOLT, NORWEGIAN POLICE INSPECTOR: He's tired and mentally ill so we can't interview him more now. So he is in an institution with police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Shortly after leaving the supermarket, Braathen was intercepted by police, but escaped after shooting arrows in their direction. Only after that did the killings begin. It was on this street, more than half an hour after his rampage began that Braathen was finally apprehended. He's now been charged with five counts of murder.
Braathen, who was known to authorities for his radicalization, has now been sectioned in a secure health care unit. There is much that is idyllic about Kongsberg, a quiet, affluent suburban town just over 50 miles outside of Oslo. And in this town, where everyone pretty much knows everyone else, people are now waiting for those killed on Wednesday to be officially identified.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONE ERHTEN, KONGSBERG RESIDENT: It's surrealistic. Yes. We live in a safe, small community and it's hard to believe that someone can be so disturbed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: But that shock and grief is being felt well beyond the limits of this town.
As the Norwegian King, King Harald put it, Norway is a pretty small country. And when Kongsberg, the entire nation is with it. Melissa Bell, CNN, Kongsberg.
QUEST: Thousands of workers are protesting in Italy against New mandatory Green Pass. Port workers march in Trieste, saying the new rules require them to show their vaccination status is discrimination. CNN's Barbie Nadeau is in Rome.
BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Italy has become the first Western democracy to mandate a government issued health pass on COVID. starting Friday, everyone who pulls a paycheck in the public and private sector have to show a Green Pass to prove they're either fully vaccinated or have a recent negative COVID test before they can go to work. If they show up without it, they can be fined up to 1,500 euro and employers who don't demand at face fines of a thousand euro. Most Italians are compliant. More than 80 percent of the population is vaccinated.
But not everyone is happy with the government playing such a role in health care. Some people have taken to the streets to protest the mandate, violently smashing a labor union office last weekend and gathering here in Rome's Circus Maximus to make their voices heard. Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.
QUEST: U.S. vaccine advisors have said yes to a Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus booster. The FDA met this Friday and decided to recommend a booster for anyone over the age of 18 at least two months after they've got the first single dose of J&J. The FDA will now decide whether to accept the advice and then the CDC has to authorize it. U.S. health officials have already recommended Pfizer boosters for certain people and the FDA, yes, they recommended Moderna boosts for those same group.
China has sent three astronauts to its new space station for a six- month mission. It's a major step for the country's space program. The Shenzhou 13 spacecraft lifted off after midnight. China aims to have the space station completed and fully crewed by December at the end of next year. As we continue, more on the shocking murder today of the British lawmaker Sir David Amess.
QUEST: And before we leave you at the top of this hour, reminder of the story, which is the murder of a British MP, Sir David Amess was attending a meeting with his constituents, a surgery as it's known in Essex, when witnesses say a man walked in and stabbed Sir David multiple times.
Sir David died at the scene and police have arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of murder. Officials say the U.K. Counter Terrorism Command is going to take the lead investigating this. Tributes, of course, across the political spectrum have been coming in on social media for Sir David who was 69 years old and was a father of five.
The former Prime Minister David Cameron sending his condolences and he says this is the most devastating, horrific, and tragic news. David Amess was a kind and thoroughly decent man, and he was the most committed MP you could ever hope to meet. Words cannot adequately express the horror of what has happened today. Right now, my heart goes out to David's family.
And that's been the tone across the political spectrum. Everybody's saying just what a good, honest, decent man Sir David was who has spent his career, his political life in the service on the back benches in the service of his constituents.