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British parliament to hold session of tributes for murdered MP Amess

People attend a vigil at St Michael and All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, October 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)
People attend a vigil at St Michael and All Angels church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, October 17, 2021 for Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died after he was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery on Friday. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a special session of tributes in Parliament to the Conservative lawmaker stabbed to death as he met constituents, an attack that has fueled concern about politicians’ safety and the level of vitriol directed at them.

A 25-year-old British man with Somali heritage, Ali Harbi Ali, is being held under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of murder in David Amess’s killing. Police say the suspect appears to have acted alone and may have had a “motivation linked to Islamist extremism.”

The death of the popular legislator who had served in Parliament for almost 40 years shocked Britain, especially its political class. It came five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist.

The House of Commons returns Monday from a three-week break, and most of the scheduled business has been replaced by tributes to Amess. That will be followed by a service at the medieval St. Margaret’s Church in the shadow of Parliament.

The government has ordered a review of lawmakers’ security following the attack on Friday. British politicians are protected by armed police when they are in Parliament but generally are not given such protection when they meet with constituents in the districts they represent.

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