UK Parliament opens session honoring lawmaker slain last week

Britain’s Parliament returned to session on Monday by honoring David Amess, the 69-year-old member of Parliament who was fatally stabbed last week while meeting with his constituents.

The Speaker’s chaplain, Tricia Hillas, opened session in the House of Commons after a three-week break on Monday with a prayer, saying “May the bright memory of his rich life ever outshine the tragic manner of his death,” according to The Associated Press.

The hundreds of lawmakers sitting in the chamber then held a moment of silence for Amess.

The medieval St. Margaret’s Church will later hold a service for Amess, according to the AP.

Amess died last week from injuries he sustained after being stabbed multiple times in a meeting with his constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man who has Somali heritage, was arrested where the attack took place and is now being detained in accordance with the Terrorism Act on suspicion of murder in connection to the deadly stabbing, according to the AP.

Ali's father said he was "traumatized" by his son's arrest.

The London Metropolitan Police has since labeled the stabbing as a terrorist incident, and said the Counter Terrorism Policing is investigating the situation.

Authorities also said “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism” was discovered in the early investigation into the murder.

The death of Amess, which came five years after Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally shot and stabbed, has shaken the United Kingdom. Amess was in Parliament for nearly 40 years.

British Home Security Secretary Priti Patel on Sunday said she is weighing police protection for members of Parliament in the wake of Amess’s death.

She said that while there are a number of options for British lawmakers to bolster their protection — including pre-booking meetings with constituents and vetting individuals they are scheduled to see — more could be done to avert attacks down the road.

“We need to close any gaps, basically, where we feel there are any concerns,” Patel said.

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