Europe 1 with AFP 6:29 am, October 16, 2021

David Amess, a British Conservative MP, was fatally stabbed on Friday while on parliamentary duty.

A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene, and the police called the murder terrorist. 

British police have called the murder of Tory MP David Amess, fatally stabbed on Friday, a terrorist act that has rekindled questions in the UK about the safety of elected officials.

The 69-year-old parliamentarian, a member of Boris Johnson's Conservative party and an ardent Brexiter, was stabbed several times shortly after noon.

The attack took place in the Methodist church where he received his constituents while on parliamentary duty in Leigh-on-Sea, about 37 miles east of London.

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

Several British media have reported that the man is a British national of Somali origin.

"A potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism"

"The first elements of the investigation revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism," the metropolitan police said in a statement, on the night of Friday to Saturday, a few hours after the investigation was entrusted to the anti-terrorism department.

The deputy succumbed to his injuries on the spot despite the rapid intervention of the rescue services and a knife was found, said Essex police, who are not looking for any other suspects.

Boris Johnson expresses his "sadness"

The reactions of upset elected officials immediately poured in, in a country traumatized by the assassination in the middle of the street in 2016 of the Euro-philosopher Jo Cox by a neo-Nazi sympathizer, a week before the Brexit referendum.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his "sadness" and "shock" in a brief televised intervention.

It is "a tragic day for our democracy," tweeted former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.

The flags were half-masted in Parliament and Downing Street.

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