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Monday, December 6, 2021

U.K. Police Charge Suspect in Killing of Lawmaker


LONDON — The British police on Thursday charged a 25-year-old man with murder in the killing of David Amess, a lawmaker who was stabbed in a town east of London last week. The attack has rattled the British political establishment and intensified concerns over the security precautions for members of Parliament.

The man charged was Ali Harbi Ali of North London. The police said in a statement that he had also been charged with preparation of terrorist acts and that he would appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later in the day.

Mr. Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker who represented part of Southend, a town in the county of Essex, was meeting with constituents at a church in the Leigh-on-Sea neighborhood at the time of the attack. Members of the local community have been shocked by the brazen public killing in their seaside town.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and lawmakers from across the political spectrum paid tribute to Mr. Amess in speeches in Parliament. Mr. Johnson called him “a patriot who believed passionately in this country, in its people, in its future.”

Mr. Amess is the second British lawmaker to be killed in recent years. In 2016, a right-wing extremist fatally stabbed Jo Cox, a Labour Party lawmaker, outside a meeting with constituents. In 2010, an Islamist extremist seriously wounded another Labour lawmaker, Stephen Timms, stabbing him twice in the stomach.

Lawmakers have insisted that the practice of meeting constituents — known in Britain as “surgeries’’ — is an essential part of the political process that should continue, but the attack on Mr. Amess has spurred proposals for introducing stricter security.



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