Man appears in court charged with murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess

Ali Harbi Ali appeared in court as prosecutors said they will argue Sir David Amess' death 'has a terrorist connection', ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports

A 25-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess.

Ali Harbi Ali, a British citizen, was arrested last Friday shortly after Sir David was stabbed. The attack took place while the Southend West MP was holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

North London resident Ali has also been charged with preparation of terrorist acts. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and has been remanded in custody.

Ali Harbi Ali Credit: Facebook

Matt Jukes, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations at the Metropolitan Police, said: "I want to send my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David Amess, who died so tragically last Friday.

"Sir David’s dedication to his family, his constituents and his community, and his positive impact on the lives of so many has shone through."

He continued: "Today's charge is a significant milestone in the case, but the work from my colleagues in the Met's Counter Terrorism Command will continue apace.

'Today’s charge is a significant milestone in the case' - police give an update on their investigation into the death of Sir David Amess

"There has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged. "I understand the huge level of public interest in this case, but now a charge has been brought, it is vitally important that everyone exercises restraint when commenting on it publicly, to ensure future court proceedings are not prejudiced in any way."

In a statement, Nick Price, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The CPS has authorised charges against Ali Harbi Ali for the murder of MP Sir David Amess on Friday 15 October 2021.

A candle and a photo at a vigil at St Michael & All Angels Church in Leigh-on-Sea for Sir David Amess Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

"We will submit to the court that this murder has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations.

"He has also been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts. This follows a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.

"The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Ali are active and that he has a right to a fair trial."