Leading Irish politicians extend condolences to the family and friends of the long-serving MP
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he was ‘truly shocked’ to hear of the death of Conservative MP David Amess who died aged 69 after being stabbed at a constituency surgery.
The MP for Southend West in Essex, suffered multiple injuries in the attack at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea
A suspect has been arrested.
Tributes have poured in for the MP who was one of the longest-serving in parliament.
Mr Martin extended his deepest sympathies to his wife Julia, children, family and friends.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also this evening extended his sympathies, stating: “Nobody anywhere, including in politics or public service, should have to fear for their safety while doing their work."
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said also extended his sympathies to family, friends and political colleagues of Mr Amess, following the ‘shocking and tragic incident.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lead the tributes to his Conservative colleague as he described the man as “one of the kindest, nicest most gentle people in politics”.
"David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future and we have lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague,” Mr Johnson added.
"Our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children and his family.
“I think everybody was deeply shocked and heart stricken. We must really leave the police to get on with their investigation.”
The father-of-five is the second sitting MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.
Witnesses described the scene as "very distressing" as Sir David was treated by emergency services at the scene before passing away as a result of his injuries.
Essex Police said: "We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October).
"We attended and found a man injured.
"He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.
"A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.
"He is currently in custody.
"We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident."
Mr Amess had been an MP since 1983 and was married with five children.
The speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed flags across Parliament are being flown at half mast in tribute to the MP.
Flags at Downing Street are also flying at half mast in tribute.
The first floral tribute has been laid at a police cordon set up at the scene of the murder.
The tribute, laid by a young woman, read: "A silent thought, a quiet prayer, for a special person in God's care. May you rest in peace."
The cordon is still being manned by Essex Police as forensic officers carry out their investigations, which started after the Conservative MP was stabbed at around lunchtime on Friday.
Tributes have also been paid across the political spectrum.
Former Conservative prime minister Theresa May tweeted: "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 for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David's family."
Her predecessor David Cameron also paid tribute to the Southend West MP.
David Cameron wrote online: “This is the most devastating, horrific & tragic news. David Amess was a kind & thoroughly decent man - & 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.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Elected representatives from across the political spectrum will be united in sadness and shock today.
Sir John Major added: “This is truly heartbreaking news of a good and decent man who - for over 30 years - was a dedicated public servant.
"My heart goes out to his family."
"In a democracy, politicians must be accessible and open to scrutiny, but no-one deserves to have their life taken while working for and representing their constituents."
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford added: "Deeply saddened to hear about the death of Sir David Amess. A truly despicable and horrifying act.
"My thoughts are with his friends, family, and constituency staff during this distressing time."
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: "This is tragic and horrible news. My thoughts are with David's wife and children, the wider family, friends and David's community.
"A truly terrible day for British politics but most importantly of all our prayers are with all the people who loved David."
Scottish National Party MP Mhairi Black said: “Just the most horrific news. To hear of a public servant being attacked whilst carrying out his duty in his constituency is simply heartbreaking. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
“Surgeries are a critical part of an MPs work. They are a place where people speak about the most personal of struggles. They should be a safe place for everyone, including politicians and their staff.”