Sir David Amess death: Police contacting all MPs to check on their security, Commons speaker says

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports on how the killing of Sir David has reignited the debate around MP's safety

Police are contacting all MPs to check on their security in the wake of the killing of Sir David Amess, the speaker of the House of Commons has said.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said that he had spoken to both Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel following the fatal stabbing of the MP at his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.

Speaking on BBC2’s Newsnight said: “It is about doing the right things working with the police constabularies right across the United Kingdom because it is about joining that up,” Sir Lindsay told

“I know that they are contacting all the MPs to check about their safety, to reassure them, because in the end we have got to make sure that is a priority.”

He added: “Those people who do not share our values or share democracy, they will not win and we won’t let them win. We will continue to look at security, that is ongoing and it will continue.”

It comes as a Conservative MP called for a temporary end to all face to face meetings with members of parliament.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, said on Saturday although engagement with the public was "a vital part of our work" MPs were now facing "huge anxiety".

He wrote: "Until the Home Secretary’s review of MP security is complete I would recommend a temporary PAUSE in face to face meetings."

On Friday, it was announced that Ms Patel had ordered an immediate review of MPs’ security after meeting with police and representatives of the security and intelligence agencies.

“The home secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course,” a spokesperson for Ms Patel said.

After laying a wreath at the scene of the stabbing on Saturday, Ms Patel spoke to broadcasters and said:"We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation … to stop us from functioning".

Asked whether there could be a balance between the safety of MPs and the democratic process, she said: “It can be balanced, it can absolutely be balanced.”

And when asked whether it would mean the end of face-to-face meetings with MPs, the Home Secretary said “We are open to surgeries, doing our job. We will continue to do that.

“David was a dear friend of mine and a loyal friend and colleague, a man of the people. He was killed serving his own constituents and constituency members.

“We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected a democracy.”

Priti Patel outlines what measures are being taken to keep MPs safe

In comments made earlier on Friday, Sir Lindsay also stressed the importance of face-to-face public meetings with elected representatives.

The MP for Chorley said threats and intimidation towards politicians should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

But he warned against a knee-jerk reaction to the news of the death of the Southend West MP, whose killing is now being investigated by counter-terrorism officers.

While acknowledging some colleagues may cancel or postpone their in-person constituency meetings, Sir Lindsey said he was pressing on with his as it was the best way to communicate with the electorate.

He said "democracy must always survive" and that MPs must be protected in that spirit while carrying out their duties.

"There is a void in the house, there is a void in my life now. He was a great friend to us all."

'There is a void in my life,' Sir Lindsey Hoyle describes the emotional impact of his friend's death

Sir David 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 the 69-year-old was then stabbed "several times" - the incident took place around midday.

How have other MPs reacted to the fatal stabbing?

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.

The force's statement comes after figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed a sharp rise in reports of crimes against MPs since 2018, with 34 incidents in December 2018 and 128 incidents in January 2019.

Sir David Amess was killed on Friday in his constituency Credit: ITV News Anglia

There were three threats to kill in the four months for which figures were provided. In 2019, the Met said that crimes against MPs increased by 126% between 2017 and 2018, with a 90% rise in the first four months of 2019.

When they are in Parliament, MPs are well protected by a specialist armed police department called Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection.

While parliament will pay for MPs to have some security measures installed - such as security alarms and shutters - for most there is not the same close protection when they are in their constituencies.