Sir David Amess: Jo Cox Foundation pays tribute to murdered MP
Tributes have been paid to a Conservative MP who has died this afternoon after being stabbed at a constituency surgery.
Sir David Amess MP was meeting constituents at his regular surgery, held at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Reports suggest he was stabbed several times.
Police have said a 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Sir David is the first serving MP to be killed since Labour's Jo Cox was murdered in Birstall in 2016.
In a statement this afternoon, the Jo Cox Foundation said: "We are devastated to hear the news of the death of Sir David Amess. We send our deepest sympathies to his family, loved ones, staff and colleagues.
"All elected representatives deserve to be safe, and to be treated with respect. Violence and abuse against them is utterly unacceptable. It endangers people and their families, and it endangers democratic life.
"The Jo Cox Foundation is committed to working towards a future where no politician is subject to violence or intimidation."
The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, chair of the Jo Cox Foundation, said: "This is a tragic loss for those who knew and loved Sir David - my heart goes out to them.
"I knew him as a generous and dedicated colleague in Parliament.
"Public life must be safe for those we ask to serve in our democracy - that is a responsibility for us all."
On social media, Jo's husband, Brendan Cox, said: "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 Jo.
"I hope we can do the same for David now."
He added: "Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself.
"There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets."
Leeds city councillor Ryan Stephenson, who stood as the Conservative candidate at the Batley and Spen by-election earlier this year, tweeted: "Tragic news.
"Sir David was hugely committed to the causes he championed.
"He came to help me in the Batley and Spen by-election, arriving on a fire engine (he was chair of the fire safety APPG), and phoned me in the weeks after to offer advice and support.
"A true gentleman."
Coun Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, tweeted: "Deeply shocked to learn of the tragic death of David Amess MP.
"My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family."