Tory MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed several times while holding a constituency surgery in Leigh, police have confirmed.
The Southend West MP was holding a surgery at the Belfairs Methodist Church, in Eastwood Road North, when a man ran into the church, according to the Southend Echo.
The newspaper reported Mr Amess was then stabbed “several times”.
Essex Police said a 25 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered from the scene – the force said it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.
He was “treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene”, police added.
Helicopter footage shows the scene on the ground:
The 69-year-old MP had been a Member of Parliament since 1983, starting with Basildon before moving to Southend West in 1997.
Aerial footage showed an air ambulance stationed near to the scene as well as multiple ambulance crews outside the Belfairs Methodist Church.
Armed police were also on site, with a large cordon in place around the church and down the street.
Members of the public had gathered at the scene, with one man comforting a woman outside.
Footage shows armed police at the scene:
A large cordon is extended down Eastwood Road and multiple side streets are closed off.
Media opportunities to film the start of a Cabinet meeting were cancelled in wake of the incident, as was a planned interview with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It’s the latest in a series of violent attacks on MPs
The attack is the latest in a string of violent attacks on MPs, which includes the 2016 murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
She was killed while on her way to hold a surgery with constituents in Batley and Spen.
In May 2010, East Ham MP Stephen Timms was stabbed twice in the abdomen by Roshonara Choudhry, an Islamic extremist who claimed she had wanted “to get revenge for the people of Iraq”.
Nigel Jones, then MP for Cheltenham, was severely injured in January 2000 when he was attacked in his offices by a man with a sword.
Andrew Pennington, a Gloucestershire county councillor, was killed in the same attack while trying to defend the then-MP.
And in 1990 Conservative MP Ian Gow was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
Tributes pour in for Mr Amess
Tributes poured in for the long-standing MP, with former prime minister David Cameron sending “thoughts and prayers” to Sir David and his family following the “very alarming and worrying news”.
The Jo Cox Foundation, set up in her name following her murder tweeted, saying it is “horrified to hear the news of the attack”.
Mr Cox’s widow Brendan Cox described the attack as “as cowardly as it gets”.
He tweeted: “Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets.”
East Ham MP Mr Timms, who was stabbed at a constituency surgery in 2010, wrote on Twitter: “Appalled to hear of the attack on @amessd–southend today. I know him well and am thinking of him with very best wishes as we await further news.”
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “Horrific and deeply shocking news.”Thinking of David, his family and his staff.”
His deputy Angela Rayner tweeted: “I’m horrified by the reports regarding David Amess and an incident at his constituency surgery today.
“We don’t know the details yet but on behalf of all of us in the Labour Party I want to say all of our thoughts are with David and we all hope that he pulls through and is ok.”
Essex Police said anyone with information should contact the force quoting incident 445 of 15 October.