Man, 25, accused of murdering MP Sir David Amess appears at Old Bailey

Sir David Amess died after he was stabbed at a constituency meeting last month. Credit: PA

The man accused of fatally stabbing Sir David Amess has appeared via videolink at the Old Bailey.

Ali Harbi Ali, 25, is charged with murdering the Conservative MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on October 15.

He is also charged with preparing acts of terrorism between May 1, 2019 and September 28, this year.

Ali is accused of engaging in reconnaissance of locations of targets to attack, including addresses associated with MPs and the Houses of Parliament.

A court sketch of Ali Harbi Ali during a previous court appearance Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

He also allegedly carried out internet research relating to targets to attack.

Ali appeared at the Old Bailey before judge Mr Justice Sweeney for a preliminary hearing by videolink from Belmarsh prison.

Wearing a pale blue jumper, Ali spoke only to confirm his name. Mr Justice Sweeney set a preparatory and plea hearing for December 21.

A provisional trial date has already been identified for March 7 next year. Following the brief hearing, Ali was remanded into custody.

Ali allegedly travelled by train from his home in Kentish Town, north London, to attend the MP's surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church, where he is accused of pulling a large knife from his pocket and repeatedly stabbing Sir David.

The veteran MP was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.10pm and a preliminary post-mortem report gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds to the chest.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) alleges the murder has a terrorist connection because of its “religious and ideological” motives.