Sir David Amess: Alleged killer Ali Harbi Ali denies murdering Essex MP

Sir David Amess was stabbed to death while holding a constituency surgery in Essex

An alleged terrorist accused of murdering the Southend MP Sir David Amess has denied the charge at the Old Bailey.

Sir David, who represented constituents in Essex for almost 40 years, was holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on 15 October when he was stabbed to death.

Ali Harbi Ali, 25, has been charged with his murder as well as preparing acts of terrorism between May 1 2019 and September 28 this year.

Ali entered not guilty pleas to the charges at a hearing before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The senior judge appeared remotely from Manchester Crown Court while Ali was in the dock at the Central Criminal Court in London.

The defendant, wearing a blue sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms, stood with his arms crossed as he confirmed his identity and entered pleas without removing his face mask.

A court sketch of Ali Harbi Ali appearing at an earlier hearing in October Credit: Elizabeth Cook / PA Wire

On the morning of October 15, it is alleged Ali travelled by train from his home in Kentish Town, north London, to attend Sir David's surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church.

During the meeting, he allegedly produced a large knife from his pocket and repeatedly stabbed Sir David.

The veteran MP was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.10pm.

Before the killing, Ali allegedly engaged in reconnaissance of locations of targets to attack, including addresses associated with MPs and the Houses of Parliament.

The killing of Sir David reopened the debate the safety of MPs holding public meetings in their constituencies.

At the time, House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote to MPs offering them security at their surgeries.